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Carole Nehme, Sophie Verheyden, Stephen Noble, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Ghada Salem, Jocelyne Adjizian-Gérard and Andrew Farrant (ed.) (2015)

Palaeoclimate reconstruction in the Levant region from the petrographic and growth rate of a MIS 5 stalagmite from the Kanaan cave, Lebanon

Geophysical Research Abstracts, EGU General Assembly 2015, Vienna, Austria, vol. 17(EGU2015-9379), European Geoscience Union.

Mount Lebanon consists mainly of carbonate rocks which contain numerous caves with an abundance of well-preserved speleothem deposits. A 23 cm long stalagmite (K1-2010) was obtained from Kanaan cave, situated just north of Beirut within the western flank of central Mount Lebanon at 100 m altitude. To develop an age model for the speleothem, a suite of uranium series (U-Th) dates was performed in the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory at the British Geological Survey. The speleothem displays two main segments: The lower segment (segment 1) is 8.2 cm long and displays a general growth axis varying from 8.5 cm diameter in the lower part to 6 cm in its middle part. This segment grew from at least 129.7 ± 0.8 ka to 111.8 ± 0.7 ka. Several hiatuses are observed and are probably linked to detrital layers. The higher segment (segment 2) is 12.3 cm long and displays a thinner diameter varying from 6.5 to 4 cm at its topmost part. This segment grew continuously from 102.5 ± 0.96 to 85.3 ± 0.8 ka. The lower segment, deposited during S-5 event in the Eastern Mediterranean (128-117 ka) shows growth rates reaching 0.15 cm/100 yr coinciding with enhanced rainfall events in speleothem records from the Southern Levant during the S-5 event as suggested by Frumkin (1999) and Bar-Mathews (2003). Speleothem growth stopped between 103.5 and 109 ka and the growth axis rotated. The higher segment shows a more moderate growth rate (0.09 cm/100 yr) until 100 ka, corresponding to low δ18O values in speleothems from Peqiin and Soreq caves and thus to enhanced rainfall events. Very low growth rates (0.03 to 0.06 cm/100 yr) from 100 to 85 ka are associated with colder climates during the latter part of MIS5 subsequent to the S-5 event. This stalagmite demonstrates the palaeoclimatic potential of speleothem records in the northern Levant region.
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abstract, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

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