Bronze Age volcanic event recorded in stalagmites by combined isotope and trace element studies

  • Siklósy Z
  • Demény A
  • Vennemann T
 et al. 
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Abstract

Stable isotope analyses of speleothems (carbonate deposits formed in caves) have been widely used to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions. Recent improvements in geochemical techniques have enabled us to analyze climate-influenced deposits at high temporal resolution so that hitherto unrecognized environmental conditions may be identified. Stable H, C and O isotope analyses on carbonate and inclusion water have been combined with multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) age dating and laser-ablation ICP-MS trace element analyses on a stalagmite from southern Hungary. The study reveals significant changes in chemical and isotopic compositions of the speleothem between approx. 3800 and 3500 years BP ('Before Present') indicating coupled changes in the temperature and precipitation regime under which the speleothem formed. Stable isotopic and trace element correlations within this time period correlate with similar studies of stalagmites of comparable age from the Alpine-Mediterranean region. Our studies suggest that traces of deposition of volcanic dust, possibly related to the Thera eruption of Santorini (Greece) ca. 1650 BC (similar to 3650 BP), and environmental changes can be detected at a distance of several thousand kilometers. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Authors

  • Zoltán Siklósy

  • Attila Demény

  • Torsten W. Vennemann

  • Sebastien Pilet

  • Jan Kramers

  • Szabolcs Leél-Ossy

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