EGU21-9696, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Glacial climate variations in southwestern Iran, 50 to 10 ka

Mojgan Soleimani1, Stacy Carolin2, Alireza Nadimi3, Gideon Henderson4, and Christoph Spötl1
Mojgan Soleimani et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria (
  • 2Department of Earth Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 3Department of Geology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Records of paleoclimate in the Middle East are particularly sparse in comparison with other regions around the world. In order to better resolve how Middle East climate responded to large global climate and environmental changes in the past, here we present the first glacial record of southwestern Iran climate constructed using speleothem climate proxies. We analyzed two stalagmites collected from a cave on the western side of the Zagros mountains, ~100 km north of the Persian Gulf. The average annual precipitation and temperature close to the cave site are ~350 mm and ~21.6 °C, respectively. Our data yield continuous δ18O and δ13C records from 45-35 kyr and 25-10 kyr BP, which show prominent millennial-scale events during the last glacial period and Termination I. The timing of these events is in agreement with North Atlantic Heinrich events and Greenland Daansgard-Oeschger events, within the respective records’ age errors. Moreover, unlike the generally stable NGRIP δ18O record, a proxy for high-latitude Northern Hemisphere temperatures, the stalagmite δ18O and δ13C records reveal clearly evident periodic variations during the Last Glacial Maximum. δ18O values are consistently heavier than eastern Mediterranean stalagmite δ18O values during both the glacial period and throughout Termination I, suggesting at least one source of moisture to the southwestern Iran site in addition to the westerlies.

How to cite: Soleimani, M., Carolin, S., Nadimi, A., Henderson, G., and Spötl, C.: Glacial climate variations in southwestern Iran, 50 to 10 ka, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9696,, 2021.

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