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Title: Global distribution and controls on cave drip water oxygen isotope composition
Authors: Baker, AA
Hartmann, A
Duan, WH
Hankin, SI
Comas-Bru, L
Cuthbert, MO
Treble, PC
Banner, J
Genty, D
Baldini, LM
Bartolomé, M
Moreno, A
Pérez-Mejías, C
Keywords: Caves
Thermodynamic cycles
Issue Date: 10-Dec-2018
Publisher: Australasian Quaternary Association Inc
Citation: Baker, A., Hartmann, A., Duan, W., Hankin, S., Comas-Bru, L., Cuthbert, M. O., Treble, P. C., Banner, J., Genty, D., Baldini, L., Bartolomé, M., Moreno, A., & Pérez-Mejías, C. (2018). Global distribution and controls on cave drip water oxygen isotope composition. Paper presented at the AQUA Biennial Conference, Canberra, 10-14th December 2018.
Abstract: The oxygen isotope composition of speleothems is a widely utilised paleoclimate proxy that is responsible for the current state-of-knowledge of past Asian monsoon dynamics, the timing of glacial-interglacial cycles, and the insolation control on inter-tropical convergence zone position, among other climate processes. Because speleothems are deposited by cave drip water, and this is derived from meteoric precipitation, it is critical to understand the empirical relationship between precipitation and cave drip water d18O. Here, we present the first global analysis, based on data from 148 drip sites, 38 caves, and five continents. Globally, drip water d18O is most similar to the amount-weighted precipitation d18O where mean annual temperature (MAT) is < 10 °C. For seasonal climates with MAT > 10 °C and < 16 °C, we demonstrate that drip water d18O records the recharge-weighted d18O. Our analysis implies that speleothems (formed in near isotopic equilibrium) are most likely to have d18O that directly reflect meteoric precipitation only in cool climates. In warmer and drier environments, speleothems will have a seasonal bias toward the precipitation d18O of recharge periods and, in some cases, the extent of evaporative fractionation of stored karst water. We highlight the implications of our analysis for the interpretation of oxygen isotope records in Australasian speleothems. © The Authors
Gov't Doc #: 9632
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