An optimized chronology for a stalagmite using seasonal trace element cycles from Shihua Cave, Beijing, North China

An optimized chronology for a stalagmite using seasonal trace element cycles from Shihua Cave,... Stalagmites play an important role in paleoclimatic reconstructions from seasonal to orbital time scales as 230Th-dating can provide an accurate absolute age. Additionally, seasonal trace element and optical layers can provide a precise age. We analyzed the seasonal variability of multiple trace elements on a stalagmite (XMG) in Shihua Cave, Beijing and compared them with results from laminae counting. The results show that (1) the polished section of the topmost part of XMG has obvious bi-optical layers under a conventional transmission microscope, however, laminae are not observed using this method in the rest of the sample, and (2) The variations of P/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, U/Ca and Mg/Ca show seasonal cycles throughout the sample. The PC1 in the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of five trace elements represents the annual cycle. This stalagmite was deposited over 150 ± 1 years through PC1 peak counting. This result corresponds well with the annual layers and U-Th dating. Trace element cyclicity of PC1 can increase the accuracy of stalagmite dating, especially in the absence of obvious laminae and are a powerful method to identify seasonal changes in a strongly contrasting wet-dry monsoon climate region. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scientific Reports Springer Journals

An optimized chronology for a stalagmite using seasonal trace element cycles from Shihua Cave, Beijing, North China

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Publisher
Nature Publishing Group UK
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by The Author(s)
Subject
Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, multidisciplinary
eISSN
2045-2322
D.O.I.
10.1038/s41598-018-22839-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stalagmites play an important role in paleoclimatic reconstructions from seasonal to orbital time scales as 230Th-dating can provide an accurate absolute age. Additionally, seasonal trace element and optical layers can provide a precise age. We analyzed the seasonal variability of multiple trace elements on a stalagmite (XMG) in Shihua Cave, Beijing and compared them with results from laminae counting. The results show that (1) the polished section of the topmost part of XMG has obvious bi-optical layers under a conventional transmission microscope, however, laminae are not observed using this method in the rest of the sample, and (2) The variations of P/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, U/Ca and Mg/Ca show seasonal cycles throughout the sample. The PC1 in the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of five trace elements represents the annual cycle. This stalagmite was deposited over 150 ± 1 years through PC1 peak counting. This result corresponds well with the annual layers and U-Th dating. Trace element cyclicity of PC1 can increase the accuracy of stalagmite dating, especially in the absence of obvious laminae and are a powerful method to identify seasonal changes in a strongly contrasting wet-dry monsoon climate region.

Journal

Scientific ReportsSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 14, 2018

References

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