Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Potential of Speleothems from Western Europe as Recorders of Regional Climate: a Critical Assessment of the SISAL Database

Version 1 : Received: 13 September 2018 / Approved: 13 September 2018 / Online: 13 September 2018 (15:32:34 CEST)

How to cite: Lechleitner, F.; Amirnezhad-Mozhdehi, S.; Columbu, A.; Comas-Bru, L.; Labuhn, I.; Pérez-Mejías, C.; Rehfeld, K. The Potential of Speleothems from Western Europe as Recorders of Regional Climate: a Critical Assessment of the SISAL Database. Preprints 2018, 2018090246 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201809.0246.v1). Lechleitner, F.; Amirnezhad-Mozhdehi, S.; Columbu, A.; Comas-Bru, L.; Labuhn, I.; Pérez-Mejías, C.; Rehfeld, K. The Potential of Speleothems from Western Europe as Recorders of Regional Climate: a Critical Assessment of the SISAL Database. Preprints 2018, 2018090246 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201809.0246.v1).

Abstract

Western Europe is the region with the highest density of published speleothem δ18O (δ18Ospel) records worldwide. Here we review these records in light of the recent publication of the Speleothem Isotopes Synthesis and Analysis (SISAL) database [1]. We investigate how representative the spatial and temporal distribution of the available records is for climate in Western Europe, and review potential sites and strategies for future studies. We show that spatial trends in precipitation δ18O are mirrored in the speleothems, providing means to better constrain the factors influencing δ18Ospel at a specific location. Coherent regional δ18Ospel trends are found over stadial-interstadial transitions of the last glacial, especially in high altitude Alpine records. Over the Holocene, regional trends are less clearly expressed, due to lower signal-to-noise ratios in δ18Ospel, but can potentially be extracted with the use of statistical methods. Overall, this first assessment highlights the potential of the European region for speleothem palaeoclimate reconstruction, while underpinning the importance of knowledge of local factors for a correct interpretation of δ18Ospel.

Subject Areas

SISAL database, speleothem, cave, oxygen isotopes, Western Europe, palaeoclimate

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