UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Karstbase Bibliography Database

Jex, Catherine N
Speleothem palaeoclimate reconstructions from north east turkey,

Turkey, in the Near – East, is currently suffering water shortages; with future predictions towards increased aridity. As such, an understanding of past water availability is crucial. This study presents reconstructions of palaeoclimate from stalagmites in north east Turkey over two time periods: 21.6 (± 1.5) ka BP to 7.3 (± 0.3) ka BP; and from ~ 1500 AD to the present day.
Conditions at the LGM (characterised by highest δ18O and δ13C; reduced rate of CaCO3 precipitation) are interpreted as cold and dry with reduced vegetation cover, in line with Israeli and Oman speleothems and Turkish lake core evidence. Towards the Holocene, climate ameliorates and vegetation cover increases. An event centred around 12.4 ka BP is characterised by reduced δ18O, 14C and Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios; and increased δ13C and trace elements (Y, Pb, Cu, Zn and P). This is interpreted as a humid event, contemporaneous with the YD, a time typically associated with arid conditions in the Near- /Middle-East.
A calibration of stable isotopes with climate parameters over the instrumental period is presented; and extrapolated to obtain a record of winter precipitation over the last 500 years. This is the first speleothem reconstruction of its kind in Turkey.