Abstract Details

ID: 1486
Title: An investigation of the climatic influences on 14C activity in a Holocene stalagmite from Flores, Indonesia

Over the past decade, a number of speleothem studies have used radiocarbon dating to address a range of palaeoclimate problems. These have included the use of the bomb pulse to anchor chronologies over the last 60 years, the combining of U-series and radiocarbon measurements to improve the radiocarbon calibration curve, and linking atmospheric radiocarbon variations with climate changes. Central to a number of these studies is how to constrain, or interpret variations in, the amount of radioactively dead carbon (i.e. the dead carbon fraction, or DCF) that contributes to a speleothem radiocarbon measurement. In this study, we use radiocarbon measurements, stable-isotope and trace-element geochemistry, and U-series ages from a previously studied speleothem from Flores, Indonesia, to examine DCF variations and its relationship with above-cave climate over the late-Holocene to modern interval.

A strong association between the DCF and other hydrologically controlled proxy data clearly shows that more dead carbon is being delivered to the speleothem during periods of higher cave recharge (i.e. lower ?18O, ?13C and Mg/Ca values) and hence a stronger summer monsoon. One possible explanation is a higher contribution from the bedrock under such conditions. Although one might expect a concurrent increase in stable carbon isotope values as DCF increases (not observed here), it is possible that such an increase in ?13C may be more than offset by the effect of increased recharge on the rate of carbon dioxide degassing. But, a higher proportion of bedrock carbon is not the only possible explanation: when the monsoon is stronger, a greater proportion of less mobile ‘older carbon’ may be leached from the soil thus diluting the ‘younger carbon’ fraction. This would produce an ‘apparent’ increase in DCF.

Session: 85 Recent advances in the radiometric dating of speleothems
Authors: Michael Griffiths
Russell Drysdale
Quan Hua
John Hellstrom
Silvia Frisia
Michael K. Gagan
J-x Zhao
Matthew J. Fischer
Linda Ayliffe
Presenter:Michael Griffiths
Type: poster