Over recent decades we have gained a robust understanding of climate change fundamentals, but its specific and localized impacts are anything but certain. The need to provide boundary conditions for forecasting and computational modelling has increased the importance of quantitative methods in the field of palaeoenvironmental, palaeoclimatic and palaeohydrological reconstruction.
Continental environmental archives (e.g. speleothems, lake and river sediments, peatlands, and vertebrate and invertebrate remains) are often highly temporally resolved (subdecadal to seasonal) and provide more direct information about atmospheric and hydrological processes than marine archives. The wide variety of continental archives allows for intercomparison and ground-truthing of results from different environments, while multi-proxy reconstructions from the same archive can disentangle local and supra-regional environmental conditions. This approach is particularly useful when dealing with high spatial variability, signal buffering, nonlinearities, and uncertainties in the proxy sensitivity.
This session aims to highlight recent advances in the use of innovative and quantitative proxies to reconstruct past environmental change on land. We welcome studies of all continental archives, including but not limited to carbonates (caves, palaeosols, snails), sediments (lakes, peatlands, rivers, alluvial fans), and biological materials (tree rings, fossil assemblages, bones, biomarkers). We particularly encourage studies involving the calibration of physical and chemical proxies that incorporate modern transfer functions, forward modeling and/or geochemical modeling to predict proxy signals, and quantitative estimates of past temperature and palaeohydrological dynamics. We also invite reconstructions of temperature and hydrologic variability over large spatial scales and palaeoclimate data assimilation. This session provides a forum for discussing recent innovations and future directions in the development of continental palaeoenvironmental proxies on seasonal to multi-millennial timescales.
vPICO presentations: Mon, 26 Apr
The stable isotope composition of soil carbonates is commonly used to reconstruct continental paleoclimates, but its utility is limited by an incomplete understanding of how soil carbonates form. In particular, it is often unclear if the parent soil water has been enriched in 18O due to evaporation, muddying our ability to infer meteoric water δ18O from paleosol carbonates. Here we demonstrate the potential use of triple oxygen isotopes (termed ∆’17O) to account for evaporation and identify formation process through a study of modern soil carbonate isotope values. Evaporation results in a decreased slope in the relationship between δ17O and δ18O and deviations from the global meteoric water line, such that ∆’17O values in soil water and resulting carbonate decrease with increased evaporation. We report ∆’17O values of CO2 derived from soil carbonates and measured as O2 on a mass spectrometer, with 1-4 replicates per soil carbonate. We find a step-like relationship between ∆’17O in globally distributed Holocene soil carbonate samples and aridity, where aridity is defined using the aridity index (AI, mean annual precipitation/potential evapotranspiration). Low ∆’17O values occur in hyper-arid climates (AI < 0.05), with mean ∆’17O = -0.164 ‰, SD = 0.004 ‰. A transition, or step, occurs in arid climates (AI from 0.05 to 0.2), with ∆’17O values that range from -0.129 ‰ to -0.165 ‰, and mean ∆’17O of -0.148 ‰, SD = 0.010‰. High ∆’17O values occur in semi-arid through humid climates (AI >0.5) with mean ∆’17O of -0.135 ‰, SD = 0.008 ‰. The lowest observed ∆’17O values are consistent with extensive evaporation – for context, the ∆’17O values are similar to those measured in lacustrine carbonates from closed lake basins. The highest ∆’17O values are consistent with little soil water evaporation. We interpret the step-like pattern in ∆’17O values as an indication of the threshold in the importance of evaporation vs. transpiration in soil dewatering. This data highlights the potential to use ∆’17O to identify the extent of evaporation in paleosol carbonates. Eventually, we hope that this novel technique will lead to quantitative accounting of evaporation in soil water and improved reconstructions of meteoric water δ18O from soil carbonates. The ability to constrain the evaporative conditions of soil carbonate formation will also aid interpretations of δ13C (including pCO2 reconstructions) and clumped isotope-based temperatures. These efforts will ultimately aid in our ability to integrate paleoclimate data from soil carbonates with data from other terrestrial records.
How to cite: Kelson, J., Huth, T., Passey, B., and Levin, N.: Using Triple Oxygen Isotopes of Pedogenic Carbonate to Identify Ancient Evaporation: First Steps from Modern Soils, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1311, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1311, 2021.
Loess-Palaeosol Sequences (LPS) represent the most extensive Quaternary terrestrial archives. Although researchers have long been able to identify short-lived climatic changes in LPS through stratigraphy, until recently we have lacked the tools to 1) identify how continuous loess archives may be, and to what extent short-lived, millennial-timescale climatic events were recorded in loess sediments, and to 2) quantitatively reconstruct past climate parameters from loess proxies. Stratigraphically, the impact of short-lived climatic cycles can be observed in the form of primary loess deposits reflecting cold stadial conditions, intercalated with arctic and boreal brown soils and tundra gley horizons indicating milder interstadials. Short-term establishment and subsequent degradation of an active permafrost layer can also be identified in temperate-latitude loess such as that found in the Rhine Valley of central-western Europe. Recently developed proxy methods can now be used to quantify climatic parameters such as temperature and precipitation in these regions 1,2. Associated with radiocarbon dating, these new approaches will vastly improve our understanding of continental environmental changes through the Upper Pleistocene, which can now be compared at high temporal resolution with marine and ice core records. In particular, the quantity and stable isotope ratios of crystalline calcite granules (> 0.8 mm), secreted by earthworms (Lumbricus sp.) at the soil surface, preserve climate information contemporaneous with deposition of the loess sediment.
In this study, we assess the utility of the earthworm calcite granules (ECG) approach by reconstructing temperature and precipitation at high resolution between 50 and 15 ka from two temporally overlapping loess sequences, Schwalbenberg and Nussloch, situated approximately 200 km apart in the German Rhine Valley. ECG counts down the two profiles reveal millennial-timescale climatic variations; high ECG concentrations associated with pedogenetic horizons suggest milder climatic with increasing biological activity and vegetation cover. Using empirical equations based on 1) observations of modern earthworm response to temperature and 2) the linear relationship between ∆13C values of plants and precipitation, the stable oxygen and carbon isotope compositions from ECGs can be used as direct proxies for warm season temperature and annual soil moisture, respectively. We embed our climate reconstructions within Bayesian age models based on radiocarbon dating of ECG in order to establish precise correlations between the two sequences and with other climatic archives. We find that ECGs provide valuable proxies able to meaningfully quantify palaeoclimate variations from terrestrial deposits over millennial timescales. Our results further show periods of quasi-simultaneous climatic change in the Northern Hemisphere, closely linking the climatic signatures recorded in the Upper Pleistocene of Schwalbenberg and Nussloch to the Greenland ice core records.
1. Prud’homme, C. et al. Palaeotemperature reconstruction during the Last Glacial from δ18O of earthworm calcite granules from Nussloch loess sequence, Germany. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 442, 13–20 (2016).
2. Prud’homme, C. et al. δ 13C signal of earthworm calcite granules: a new proxy for palaeoprecipitation reconstructions during the Last Glacial in Western Europe. Quat. Sci. Rev. 179, 158–166 (2018).
How to cite: Prud'homme, C., Fischer, P., Jöris, O., Hatté, C., Vinnepand, M., Vonhof, H., Moine, O., Vött, A., and Fitzsimmons, K.: Millennial-timescale reconstruction of Upper Pleistocene temperature and precipitation derived from earthworm calcite granules in western European loess profiles, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7071, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7071, 2021.
Investigating palaeoclimate records is of major importance for evaluating the impact of past forcing factors on the evolution of ecosystems, megafauna and human dispersal, especially in Southern Patagonia where few records are available. We report on a 40 cm long flowstone core S6, and fragments of flowstone and a stalagmite from Cueva Chica. The samples were radiometrically dated (U-Th & 14C) to construct age-depth models for the proxy profiles (δ13C, δ18O, and chemical composition). The speleothem proxy data are further informed by both petrographic analysis of the flowstone, and monitoring data. The main objectives of this work are to: i) reconstruct past climate variations using geochemical analyses conducted on the speleothems, and ii) assess the palaeoclimatic context of megafauna extinction in the area. The flowstone core S6 grew discontinuously from ~13 ka to ~1 ka with several possible hiatuses at ~10 ka BP, from 5.7 to 3.0 ka BP, and 2.5 to 1.8 ka BP (interpolated ages). Sample S8 grew from 6.8 to 5.8 ka BP and after 1.2 ka BP. Stable isotopes analyzed at sub-centennial resolution show a 3‰ range for δ18O, and more than 14‰ for δ13C, and the isotope ratios covary along the entire record. These changes are likely caused by kinetic fractionation and prior calcite precipitation (PCP), controlled mostly by changes in moisture availability. The sensitivity of the proxies to hydrological changes and PCP is further tested with indicators using μXRF element data. The multiproxy record from Cueva Chica suggests a wet phase from ~13 to 9 ka BP, likely related to strong westerlies in the Southern Hemisphere, preceded by a short dry/cold spell at ~13 ka BP. This early Holocene wet phase was followed by a colder/drier period from 8.5 to 5.8 ka BP, likely related to weaker westerlies, especially during the mid-Holocene. High precipitation and strong westerlies prevailed from 3.0 to 2.5 ka BP and in Medieval times. Our paleoclimate record implies that the presence of extensive megafauna, the development of Nothofagus forest and human arrival, all occurred during a climatically favorable wet/warm period ca. 13 to 9 ka BP, after the Antarctic Cold Reversal. However, the deterioration of the vegetation cover at the Cerro Benitez coinciding with high δ13C values excursions was initiated after ca. 11 ka BP. Previous studies suggest an extinction of major megafauna species (e.g., Mylodon, Smilodon, Panthera onca mesembrina) during this wet/warm period. Such climate-driven changes likely reduced the open ecosystem environment and may have led to local decline of herbivore populations. Later cooling/drying after ca. 9 ka may have contributed to the disappearance of megafauna and other large mamals (e.g., Hippidion Saldiasi).
How to cite: Nehme, C., Todisco, D., Breitenbach, S., Couchoud, I., Girault, I., Martin, F., Borrerro, L., Hellstrom, J., TJallingi, R., and Claeys, P.: Climate Variability reconstructed from La Cueva Chica speleothems for the last 13 ka BP: implications for Megafauna in Southern Patagonia, Chile., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10368, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10368, 2021.
In the European Alps, the Younger Dryas (YD) was characterized by the last major glacier advance with equilibrium line altitudes being ~220 to 290 m lower than during the Little Ice Age and also by the development of rock glaciers. Dating of these geomorphic features, however, is associated with substantial uncertainties leading to considerable ambiguities on the internal structure of this stadial, the most intensively studied one of the last glacial period.
Our study utilizes a novel paleoclimate archive, coarse crystalline cryogenic cave carbonates (hereafter CCC), that allows to precisely constrain when ~ 0°C conditions prevailed in the shallow subsurface in the past, often related to permafrost thawing events.
Here we presents the first record of CCC from the Dolomites (Southern Alps). In contrast to many studies from Central European caves these speleothems formed not during a major climate warming but within a prominent stadial. 230Th-dating of the CCC indicates sustained negative temperatures close to ~0°C between ~12.6 and ~12.2 ka BP at about 50 m below the surface, initiating the slow freezing of dripwater-induced meltwater pockets in perennial cave ice. This in combination with thermal modelling argues for a cooling of ≤ 3°C at the Allerød-YD transition at this high-alpine site in the Southern Alps. Our data suggest that autumns and early winters in the early part of the YD were relatively snow-rich, resulting in a stable winter snow cover at this site. The snow cover insulated the subsurface and allowed the cave interior to remain close to the freezing point (0°C) year-round, promoting CCC formation.
The main phase of CCC precipitation at ~12.2 ka BP coincides with the mid-YD transition recorded in other archives across Europe. Based on thermal modelling we propose that CCC formation at ~12.2 ka BP was most likely associated with a slight warming of approximately +1°C in conjunction with drier autumns and early winters in the second half of the YD. These changes triggered CCC formation in this alpine cave as well as ice glacier retreat and rock glacier expansion in the Alps. Our study demonstrates that CCCs can provide quantitative constraints on paleotemperature and seasonally resolved precipitation changes.
How to cite: Koltai, G., Spötl, C., Jarosch, A. H., and Cheng, H.: Cryogenic cave carbonates in the Dolomites (Northern Italy): insights into Younger Dryas cooling and seasonal precipitation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7889, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7889, 2021.
The Toba eruption, marked by the Younger Toba Tuff (YTT), was the largest volcanic event of the Quaternary. Dated to 73.88±0.6 ka BP (2σ), this eruption must have been witnessed by humans globally, even if only through indirect effects of multi-year adverse weather patterns, or atmospheric phenomena. It has been proposed that the YTT acted as trigger or accelerator for Greenland Stadial 20 (GS20). Its global climatic impact is evidenced by data from as far as southwestern USA, Antarctica, and Greenland (Polyak et al. 2017, Svensson et al. 2013). Whether this event also caused a human population bottleneck (Ambrose 2003) remains debated (Petraglia et al. 2007, Ge et al. 2020).
Here we combine stable isotopes with laser ablation based multi-element data to test the impact of the YTT on the East Asian Summer Monsoon using a stalagmite from China. U-series dating indicates that stalagmite XT5 grew between 87±0.3 to 50±0.4 ka BP. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios show significant changes linked to GS20, with several large positive excursions between 74 and 70 ka BP suggesting severe droughts. The notion of severe drying is supported by the Sr profile. Several spikes in rare earth elements (REE: Y, La, Ce, Nd, Yb) occurred concurrent with δ18O, δ13C, and Sr increases.
The increasing δ13C and δ18O values resulted from reduced effective infiltration linked to a longer-term reorganization of the EASM system. The observed REE dynamics and can be interpreted as indicative of large eruption events. Assigning REE spikes to individual eruptions like the YTT remains ambiguous, but agreement with acidity peaks in ice cores (Svensson et al. 2013) suggests that our REE events tracks eruption history over the interval discussed here. Our δ18O, δ13C, and Sr records suggest repeated EASM weakening and regional-scale rainfall reduction in response to volcanic events indicated by REE peaks. Comparison of the REE and Sr profiles further suggests that drying was initiated or exacerbated by these eruptions.
Our new multi-proxy record supports the hypothesis of repeated tropical eruptions that led to several significant weakening episodes of the EASM. The current data do not answer the question whether the YTT initiated GS20 but support the notion of multi-decadal impacts on regional circulation and rainfall across East Asia.
Ambrose S. (2003) Population bottleneck, in: Robinson, R. (Ed.), Genetics, volume 3. Macmillan Reference, New York, 167-171
Ge Y. et al. (2020) Understanding the overestimated impact of the Toba volcanic super-eruption on global environments and ancient hominins. Quat Int. 559, 24-33
Petraglia M. et al. (2007) Middle Paleolithic Assemblages from the Indian Subcontinent Before and After the Toba Super-Eruption. Science 317, 114-116
Polyak V. et al. (2017) Rapid speleothem δ13C change in southwestern North America coincident with Greenland stadial 20 and the Toba (Indonesia) supereruption. Geology 45, 843-846
Svensson A. et al. (2013) Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP): Climate of the Past 9, 749-766
How to cite: Breitenbach, S. F. M., Finestone, E., Cai, Y., Scott, P., Boivin, N., and Petraglia, M.: Impact of the Toba eruption on rainfall – a speleothem record suggests multi-staged eruption affected EASM, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12794, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12794, 2021.
Waves in the tropical atmosphere modulate rainfall and water vapor at the intraseasonal scale, including equatorial Rossby waves, Kelvin waves, and tropical disturbances organized by the planetary scale Madden-Julien Oscillation (MJO). The MJO’s regions of enhanced and suppressed convection travel slowly eastward, resulting in a characteristic 30-60 day rainfall cycle at tropical sites. The MJO’s pace and intensity vary over time and by location, influencing monsoons, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, and tropical cyclone genesis/intensification. MJO-induced teleconnections influence extratropical weather anomalies, i.e. as atmospheric rivers. Despite forecast challenges, modeling studies indicate MJO sensitivity to anthropogenic climate forcing.
Records of pre-instrumental MJO behavior would advance efforts to assess tropical palaeoclimate and hydroclimate sensitivity to climate forcing factors. Palaeoclimate records of MJO intraseasonal variability have not been captured due to the scale of MJO relative to proxy resolution. Promising weekly dripwater monitoring results from Rio Secreto cave, Quintana Roo, Mexico, however, show the influence of sub-seasonal weather events on speleothem stable isotope proxy records. We report a possible late Holocene palaeo-MJO signal in a ~weekly stalagmite oxygen isotope (δ18O value) record from Cueva Tzabnah, Yucatán, Mexico.
We re-sampled a well-studied stalagmite, Chaac, across the Maya Terminal Classic Period (c. 800-950 C.E.) and instrumental era. With continuous micromilling at 6.5 μm spacing and stable isotope analysis (CM-2 micromill and small-vial Kiel IV+MAT253), we reached ~50 samples/year. The re-sampled Chaac record reveals expected interannual-decadal hydroclimate signals and better resolves short-term variability. A recurrent pattern of δ18O value oscillations over about 4-12 samples (representing approx. 1-3 months). The amplitude of these intraseasonal-scale oscillations is around 0.3 - 0.5‰, smaller than annual/interannual variations. The intraseasonal pattern varies in amplitude, clarity, and frequency over time, similar to the modern MJO.
Intraseasonal stable isotopic oscillations in Chaac during the modern and Maya Terminal Classic Period most likely reflect local intraseasonal hydroclimate variability. Because this scale of rainfall variations is driven primarily by the MJO, we are investigating this pattern as a possible palaeo-MJO record. We will present the new Chaac record and results of wavelet analysis, and discuss prospects for intraseasonal tropical paleoclimate dynamics.
How to cite: Frappier, A., Frappier, B., Medina-Elizalde, M., and Lases-Hernández, M. F.: Intraseasonal Hydroclimate Variability in the Yucatán Peninsula During the Maya Terminal Classic Period: A Proxy Record of Palaeo-MJO?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3381, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3381, 2021.
Speleothems (secondary cave carbonate deposits) are particularly valuable for studying past climates over a range of temporal and spatial scales, owing to their continuous growth and exceptional viability for radiometric dating. However, the interpretation of many speleothem-based palaeoenvironmental proxies (e.g., stable isotope ratios δ18O and δ13C) in terms of particular environmental or climatic controls remains challenging, and is typically limited to qualitative reconstructions of past environmental conditions and dynamics.
In this study, we develop a novel class of quantitative hydrological proxies by exploring the kinetic behaviour of a suite of first-row transition metals (e.g., Ni, Cu, Co) found in stalagmites. The transport of these elements from the surface to the cave is strongly controlled by the binding to natural organic matter (NOM) present in infiltrating waters. The rate of dissociation of such metal-NOM complexes at the dripwater-stalagmite interface has recently been suggested to determine the availability of these elements for the incorporation into precipitates (Hartland & Zitoun, 2018). The link between NOM-complex dissociation and metal availability for deposition presents an opportunity to quantitatively relate respective carbonate metal concentrations to the time available for complexes to disintegrate and release metals within the thin water films on stalagmite surfaces.
We present preliminary analyses assessing trace metal kinetics and partitioning in monitored natural cave settings, as well as cave-analogue experimental setups. Our findings demonstrate the contrasting controls on the concentrations of different elements in speleothems, and highlight the potential for kinetically-limited elements in stalagmites to enable quantitative estimations of past hydrological variability.
Hartland, A., Zitoun, R. (2018) Transition metal availability to speleothems controlled by organic binding ligands. Geochem. Persp. Let. 8, 22–25.
How to cite: Höpker, S. N., Goswami, B., Grainger, M., Breitenbach, S. F. M., Hansen, M., and Hartland, A.: Partitioning of trace metals in cave (and cave-analogue) carbonate precipitates – towards a quantitative hydrological proxy in stalagmites , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13057, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13057, 2021.
In the tropical Americas, extreme precipitation events such as hurricanes are responsible for enormous damage and numerous fatalities each year. However, projections of hydro-climatic change and tropical cyclone (TC) activity in Central America and the Caribbean for the next decades are still challenging, requiring more reconstructions of past precipitation and TC activity. In tropical speleothems, stable oxygen isotope values (δ18O) are an often used proxy for precipitation amount, and in some cases TC activity, but may be masked by various effects such as evaporation or kinetic effects inside the cave, temperature, or variable moisture sources and trajectories.
Here we investigate the potential of trace metals in speleothems and drip waters from Larga Cave, Puerto Rico, as complementary proxies for past effective infiltration, and hence precipitation amount. The analysis of transition metal ratios in drip waters from 2014 to 2019 reveal a seasonal variation, with peaks in the Cu/Ni (and Cu/Co) ratios potentially reflecting the intensity of the prior wet season. The suggested imprint of Hurricanes Bertha (2014) and Maria (2017) in the drip water suggests that transition metal ratios might be even indicators of (past) tropical cyclone activity.
Laser ablation ICPMS analyses of speleothems from the same cave support the interpretation of a potential climate signal in the transition metal ratios. Both higher Cu/Ni and Cu/Co values are found during presumably warmer and wetter phases, such as e.g. during the late Holocene, as well as at the onsets of Dansgaard/Oeschger interstadials including the Bolling/Allerod (14.6-12.8 ka BP). Replicated records of the past 400 years combined with stable isotope values of oxygen and carbon (δ13C) will provide a test of the underlying mechanisms driving the observed variability on different timescales. Comparison with other reconstructions highlights the potential of Cu/Ni (and Cu/Co) ratios in speleothems for hydro-climate and past precipitation variability reconstruction.
How to cite: Warken, S., Frank, N., Schorndorf, N., Mielke, A., Kuchalski, L., Keppler, F., Vieten, R., Förstel, J., Therre, S., Winter, A., Schröder-Ritzrau, A., and Hartland, A.: Trace metal variability in Puerto Rican speleothems and drip waters: Indicators for (past) tropical cyclone activity?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11310, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11310, 2021.
Oxygen isotopes are commonly used proxies in paleoclimate research, however, a correct interpretation requires a detailed understanding of processes controlling isotope variability for a specific site. A common interpretation for oxygen isotopes in precipitation across the Asian monsoon region, links the seasonal and interannual variability to changes in the summer monsoon strength.
However, some locations within tropical Asia do not receive rainfall during the summer monsoon season. In central Vietnam most of the annual rainfall falls during autumn instead of summer, making central Vietnam ideal to investigate processes controlling rainwater isotope variability, independent from the summer monsoon. By using rainwater isotopes, collected over five years, and moisture uptake simulations for these time periods, we investigate the seasonal cycle and interannual variability of hydrological processes in central Vietnam.
Our results show that the seasonal variability is dominated by a shift in moisture source from the Indian Ocean in summer to the South China Sea (western Pacific) from autumn to spring. The different source locations are reflected by an increase in δ18O values from around − 8 to − 10‰ during summer to values between 0 and − 3‰ during winter/spring. Further, we show that the amount effect and the occurrence of tropical cyclones, which are typical for the region, have no effect on a seasonal to interannual scale. Instead, we find that the timing of the seasonal ITCZ migration is a driving component of variability on these time scales.
How to cite: Wolf, A., Roberts, W. H. G., Ersek, V., Johnson, K. R., and Griffiths, M. L.: Rainwater isotopes in central Vietnam controlled by two oceanic moisture sources and rainout effects, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9545, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9545, 2021.
Secondary mineral deposits in caves, such as stalagmites or flowstones, are valuable paleoclimate archives because they have several advantages over other environmental archives. These include stable in-cave conditions, protecting the speleothems from external influences, and the potential to precisely date samples up to 600,000 years using 230Th/U-dating.  Supplementing established climate proxies, such as stable isotopes and trace elements, organic proxies have been increasingly used in recent years to inform on local vegetation and soil dynamics. 
Biomass burning events are major sources of atmospheric particulate matter that influences global and local climate.  Investigating fire proxies in paleoclimate archives may therefore help determine the interactions of climate, hydrology, and fire activity. Levoglucosan, an anhydrosugar, naturally only originates from the combustion of cellulose and thus constitutes a biomass burning marker. Analysis of levoglucosan in sediments has shown high correlation with traditional burning markers, such as black charcoal.  Mannosan and galactosan, both stereoisomers of levoglucosan, are formed during combustion of hemicellulose. Previous work suggests that rather than absolute levoglucosan concentrations the ratio of levoglucosan to its isomers should be considered when characterizing burning events.  To date, no data on levoglucosan or its isomers in speleothems has been published, whereas the anhydrosugars are already utilised in other paleoclimate archives, such as sediments and ice cores. [2,3]
We test three approaches (solid phase extraction (SPE), soxhlet extraction and solid/liquid extraction) for the isolation and quantification of anhydrosugars using HILIC-MS instrumentation. As the anhydrosugars are highly polar molecules, extraction from the calcium carbonate matrix and subsequent sample preparation proved challenging. We evaluate the different approaches and compare the resulting concentrations and assumed recoveries. We find that the anhydrosugars do not show significant retention on any of the evaluated SPE materials. While solid/liquid extractions lead to detectable analyte concentrations, soxhlet extractions with methanol or dichloromethane/methanol mixtures are more efficient.
 D. Scholz, D. Hoffmann, Quat. Sci. J. 57 (2008) 52–76  A. Blyth et al. Quat. Sci. Rev. 149 (2016) 1-17  P. Yao et al. J. of Glaciology 59 (2013) 599-611  V. O. Elias et al. Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta 65 (2001) 267-272.  D. Fabbri et al. Atmos. Env. 43 (2009) 2286–2295
How to cite: Homann, J., Hoffmann, T., Scholz, D., and Breitenbach, S.: Levoglucosan in speleothems: An evaluation of various sample preparation methods., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1065, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1065, 2021.
Soil-derived magnetic particles trapped in speleothems can retain valuable information on the physiochemical conditions of the overlying soil and changes in the hydrological system. However, a direct link between magnetic and isotopic properties of speleothems has been only qualitatively established and is known to vary regionally. Here we investigate two Holocene speleothems from Soreq Cave, Israel and provide evidence for strong coupling over centennial to millennial timescales between the inflow of magnetic particles (quantified using the magnetic flux index, IRMflux), δ13C, and rainfall amounts. The two stalagmites formed at separate intervals: one at ~9.5 ky BP capturing the transition from pluvial Eastern Mediterranean conditions associated with Sapropel 1 (S1) and a second at 5.4 ky BP recording mid-Holocene wet-dry cycles.
The late-Holocene speleothem shows an anomalously high δ13C episode that is correlated with extremely low IRMflux, indicating minimal contribution from overlying soils due to either (1) recently denuded soils, or (2) high overland and vadose runoff. By contrast, the mid-Holocene sample shows saw-tooth cycles in both δ18O and δ13C, which are interpreted as rapid climate fluctuations associated with rainfall changes. IRMflux during this period varies in-phase with the δ13C cycles; however, the peaks in IRMflux values precede those of the isotope values. The apparent lag in isotopic values may be explained by the faster response of the IRMflux to increased rainfall resulting from the rapid physical translocation of overlying soil particles via groundwater, compared with slower soil organic matter turnover rates, which may vary on timescales of up to thousands of years.
The separate palaeohydrological scenarios resolved from the two speleothems demonstrate how magnetic data can act as a powerful paleo-hydrology proxy, even in weakly-magnetized speleothems growing under semi-arid conditions.
How to cite: Burstyn, Y., Shaar, R., Keinan, J., Ebert, Y., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., and Feinberg, J. M.: Palaeohydrologic interpretations of Holocene wet episodes recorded in stalagmites from Soreq Cave, Israel: Linking the magnetic and isotopic properties of speleothems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9159, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9159, 2021.
Sclerochronological methods are described as a means to reconstruct, from increments recorded on a shell transect (i.e. "sclerochonological growth"), the fluctuations in past environments. This was proposed by an erroneous analogy with tree-ring dendrochronology. However, shells do not grow like trees. Almost all molluscan shells grow by adding increments at the shell edge, while preserving their shape. This is called "terminal growth". The advantage of this property is that there is a generic mathematical model that can quantify the shell expansion (morphological growth).
Nonetheless, this generic model is not compatible with observed shell incrementation and accretion processes. This is because increment widths should increase geometrically in the mathematical model along a transect. We remarked that despite studying the same object, morphodynamics and sclerochronology have followed divergent paths in past decades, without incorporating advances of the other speciality.
We have now addressed this problem head-on by developing a new mathematical framework to combine incremental shell growth within shell morphodynamics. This model is designed to be able to confront a theoretical prediction of shell incrementation with a measured one. The method combines morphodynamic modelled shapes with 3D shell scans and increments measured from shell transects.
Our work in this area highlights several heretofore unrecognized fundamental problems in morphodynamics and sclerochronology which concern the way individual variability is accounted for in both areas. Regarding the reconstruction of environmental trends, we find that the arbitrary choice of one particular "best" shell transect and averaging over groups of individuals can be a source of significant bias. It is time to revise shell science methods to consider the entire incremental geometry (or growth 'ring') so that unbiased estimates of environmental changes can be provided using sclerochonological data.
How to cite: Guarini, J. and Guarini, J.-M.: Confronting shell morphodynamics and sclerochronology: leaving behind phenomenology to move toward integrative laws of growth, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15863, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15863, 2021.
Water activity is the partial pressure of water in a solution, which is a crucial driver of chemical (e.g. dissociation constants) and physical (e.g. evaporation and stable isotope enrichment) properties of water. As such, reconstructing past climate and environmental conditions using lacustrine proxies requires a quantification of past water activity. However, very little research has been conducted on ways to reconstruct this crucial water property. In this research, we present a novel method that potentially can enable reconstructing paleo water activity in closed basin lakes. Closed-basin lakes are lakes with no outlet; thus, the size of the lakes varies as function precipitation and evaporation (P-E), and in turn, can be used to quantitatively reconstruct these conditions. Past climate change altered P-E throughout the geological history causing lakes all around the world to expand (contract), which in turn diluted (concentrated) and reduced (enhanced) lake water activity. To fully understand past hydrological and chemical processes in the lake, it is crucial to quantify the water activity in the lake.
radix sp. is a gastropod that lives at the margins of closed basin lakes. It forms a hard CaCO3 shell, which at death is deposited in the sediments, remains in the geological record, and informs on past lake levels. We sampled radix sp. shells in elevated shorelines of a closed basin lake in North China and from the modern lake shoreline. Radiocarbon ages of the shells span the past 16 ka and are used to construct the lake level curve for the Late Glacial to Holocene (Goldsmith et al., 2017). During this time period the lake level and volume changed substantially; the Early – Mid Holocene lake area high-stand was x7 larger than the modern lake. On these gastropod shells we measured high resolution profiles (sample/length) of TE/Ca ratios (e.g. Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca) using Laser Ablation ICP-MS. We calculated the dissociation constants of the different TE/Ca ratios using modern shells and modern lake water chemistry.
Our preliminary results show that of all elements analysed, Mg/Ca ratios best track lake volume and therefore can be used to reconstruct lake level. The next step will be using gastropod derived lake water chemistry to reconstruct past water activity. This method entails comparing the TE/Ca ratios of Late Glacial and Holocene gastropods with a hydro-chemical model of the lake, derived from a volume history reconstruction of the lake. The hydro-chemical model assumes a simple addition of river water to the modern lake, until the lake reaches the elevation that each gastropod was sampled at. In tandem, these two data sets constrain water chemistry, and the difference between these two estimates should represent the effect changes in water activity have on the disassociation constant between lake water and shell TE/Ca ratios.
Goldsmith, Y., Broecker, W.S., Xu, H., Polissar, P.J., DeMenocal, P.B., Porat, N., Lan, J., Cheng, P., Zhou, W., An, Z., 2017. Northward extent of East Asian monsoon covaries with intensity on orbital and millennial timescales. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 114, 1817–1821.
How to cite: Goldsmith, Y. and Burstyn, Y.: Towards reconstructing Paleo-water activity using lake level and gastropod TE/Ca ratios, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10548, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10548, 2021.
The Windermere Interstadial (GI-1; c. 14.7-12.9 kyr ago), a relatively warm period at the end of the last glaciation, provides an excellent opportunity to study past abrupt cooling events (ACEs). These events, commonly known as GI-1d and GI-1b, are clearly expressed in the Greenland ice cores and offer some of our best analogues for future events caused by anthropogenic warming. Such ACEs have variable expression in terms of their magnitude across Europe and the North Atlantic region which is likely to reflect the forcing factors which drive them. However, relatively few, spatially uneven, quantitative temperature reconstructions of ACEs exist for NW Europe. Between-site differences in sampling resolution applied and calibration datasets used makes inter-comparisons problematic.
We applied chironomid and oxygen-isotope analysis at a high temporal resolution (~decadal) to a number of Windermere Interstadial lake sequences from spatially diverse locations across the British Isles. This dual proxy approach allows for quantitative reconstructions of past climate change and provides insight into seasonal temperature change as well as hydrological regime shifts. Several chironomid calibration datasets were tested to ascertain which provided the most reliable reconstruction. Even across a relatively restricted area such as the British Isles, clear spatial patterns can be observed in ACE strength. GI-1d exhibits greatest magnitude in the North of the region whilst GI-1b is most strongly expressed in the South. The results highlight the pivotal location of the British Isles in further refining our understanding of the forcing mechanism driving ACEs.
How to cite: Francis, C., Candy, I., engels, S., Matthews, I., and Palmer, A.: Investigating the spatial heterogeneity of abrupt cooling events during the Lateglacial Interstadial in Britain and Ireland using chironomids and oxygen-isotopes. , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6107, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6107, 2021.
The Western Mediterranean region including the North African desert margin faces major environmental challenges in the backdrop of global climate change in terms of rising temperatures, a higher recurrence of drought events and a decrease in annual precipitation. As a condition to state further prospects, it is crucial to comprehend past and present hydro-climatic patterns. The Moroccan Middle Atlas is considered a transition zone between Atlantic, Mediterranean and Saharan air masses and is therefore of unprecedented interest in order to comprehend regional climate variability and to assess emerging hydrological, geomorphological and ecological impacts. Despite the growing number of limnological studies from the Middle Atlas, there still is a strong need for coupling palaeolimnological results at the sub-recent time scale with historical cartographic information, meteorological variables and underlying climatic forcing. Lake Sidi Ali (33°03’ N, 5°00’ W, 2080 m a.s.l.) provides a unique archive for understanding environmental changes throughout the 20th century. At least for the past 100 years the lake has experienced a minimum of three significant lake level changes in the order of several meters. We were able to reconstruct and quantify these alternations with the help of historical sources, topographic maps and satellite imagery. In addition, we implemented a multi-proxy analytical approach on a 145-cm long sediment record, including δ18O and δ13C isotope analysis of ostracod shells and CNS elemental analysis. A reliable age model based on 25 210Pb measurements and one radiocarbon dated cedar needle enables the linkage of sediment geochemical variations to lake level changes based on an instrumental record and historic topographic maps. We use meteorological precipitation and temperature data to evaluate the main drivers controlling these fluctuations. Furthermore, we have indications for a temporal coupling of Atlantic climate patterns (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO; Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO) with Sidi Ali lake level development.
How to cite: Kertscher, C., Schmidt, J., Ballasus, H., Schneider, B., Köhler, A., Flörke-Staats, M., Dietze, E., Benkkadour, A., Mikdad, A., Werther, L., Bolland, A., Pichat, S., von Suchodoletz, H., Fletcher, W., Mischke, S., and Zielhofer, C.: Sub-decadal scale coupling of the Moroccan Sidi Ali lake core record with historical and meteorological data for the last 120 years, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8823, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8823, 2021.
Lakes are sensitive to climate change and their sedimentary components play a pivotal role as environmental recorders. In the past, lacustrine carbonates have been utilized in a number of studies attempting at a quantitative reconstruction of rainfall and/or precipitation-evaporation changes based on the biogenic or bulk carbonate δ18O signature. While these studies are built on sound theoretical grounds of mass balance and kinetic isotopic fractionation, the challenge often overlooked is the mineralogically mixed nature of carbonates comprising the bulk.
We report a case study from Lake Van, the world’s largest alkaline lake. Our time series comprising ca. 140 ka documents not only changing proportions of surface water calcite and aragonite, but also diagenetic bottom-water dolomite and, for the first time in Lake Van, early diagenetic bottom-water aragonite. Importantly, in the Lake Van profile primary and early diagenetic carbonates (in particular aragonite) are concurrent rather than mutually exclusive. A comprehensive comparison of the δ18O and δ13C compositions of singled out water column, biogenic (ostracod valves) and diagenetic carbonates shows, that each of the fractions forms a distinctive cluster characteristic for the depth and timing of their formation. Also, the differences between δ18O values of concurrent deep-water carbonate phases exceed what is expected from mineral-specific fractionation. Our data suggest that, an uncritical and unchecked application of the isotopic composition of the bulk carbonate fraction in quantitative climate reconstructions can severely compromise the results. We also advocate that, among different carbonate fractions in Lake Van, monospecific biogenic samples most faithfully reflect the oxygen isotopic composition of the lake water contemporaneous to their deposition, while the carbon composition of biogenic samples is additionally influenced by the organism microhabitat.
How to cite: Kwiecien, O. and McCormack, J.: How (not) to quantify hydrological changes using lacustrine carbonates? , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10262, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10262, 2021.
Varved lake sediments are recognized as valuable archives of paleoclimatic information due to their precise chronological control. However, paleoclimate reconstructions based on the composition of biochemical varves are relatively rare (Zolitschka et al., 2015). We applied novel high-resolution scanning techniques to the varved sediments of Lake Żabińskie, Poland to obtain spatially resolved geochemical data at a resolution of 60 μm covering the period 1966-2019. Relative abundances of elements were measured in resin-embedded sediment slabs using a Bruker M4 Tornado micro-XRF scanner. Chloropigments-a and bacteriopheopigments-a were measured on a wet sediment core using a Specim Hyperspectral core scanner (Butz et al., 2015). The high resolution of the scanning data, and the relatively thick well-preserved varves (average thickness = 6.4 mm), enables a close examination of seasonal scale sediment composition and varve formation processes. Time series of geochemical variables within each varve year were classified into 4 varve type groups based on the dissimilarity measure ψ for multivariate time series (Benito and Birks, 2020; Gordon and Birks, 1974). Based on a Multivariate Analysis Of Variance test, these groups of years experienced significant (p<0.05) differences in seasonal meteorological conditions, particularly wind speed and temperature. Additionally, a correlation analysis on mean annual geochemical values from the aforementioned scanning techniques and conventional CNS analysis, and seasonal meteorological data revealed significant (p<0.05) correlations with windiness and temperature. Based on these relationships, we applied generalized additive models to predict spring and summer (MAMJJA) temperature and number of windy days (spring through fall), yielding models with significant predictive power. Based on model selection, the variables with the most predictive power for spring and summer temperature were Ti (negative correlation) and total C. The variables with the most predictive power for windiness were Si, sediment accumulation rate, and varve type. This study highlights the usefulness of high-resolution scanning techniques to improve our understanding of varve formation processes and relationships between varve composition and climate variables in biochemical varves.
Benito, B. M. and Birks, H. J. B.: distantia: an open‐source toolset to quantify dissimilarity between multivariate ecological time‐series, Ecography (Cop.)., 43(5), 660–667, doi:10.1111/ecog.04895, 2020.
Butz, C., Grosjean, M., Fischer, D., Wunderle, S., Tylmann, W. and Rein, B.: Hyperspectral imaging spectroscopy: a promising method for the biogeochemical analysis of lake sediments, J. Appl. Remote Sens., 9(1), 096031, doi:10.1117/1.jrs.9.096031, 2015.
Gordon, A. D. and Birks, H. J. B.: Numerical methods in Quaternary palaeoecology: II. Comparison of pollen diagrams, New Phytol., 73(1), 221–249, doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1974.tb04621.x, 1974.
Zolitschka, B., Francus, P., Ojala, A. E. K. and Schimmelmann, A.: Varves in lake sediments - a review, Quat. Sci. Rev., 117, 1–41, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.03.019, 2015.
How to cite: Zander, P., Żarczyński, M., Tylmann, W., Rainford, S., and Grosjean, M.: Searching for weather in varves: use of ultra-high-resolution scanning techniques to reconstruct seasonal meteorological conditions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16510, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16510, 2021.
Isotope records are crucial for proxy-model comparison in paleoclimatology because of their advantage of being directly comparable with isotope-enabled paleoclimate model outputs. Oxygen isotopes (δ18O) are commonly measured on carbonates (i.e. ostracods, authigenic carbonates) and biogenic silica (mainly diatoms). Oxygen isotopes in lacustrine carbonates (δ18OCaCO3) have been studied extensively for several decades, yet they are subject to complex species-dependent fractionation processes and not available globally. Lacustrine oxygen isotope records from biogenic silica (δ18OBSi), on the other hand, likely do not display species-dependent fractionation effects (or only very minor) and offer insight even in data-sparse regions devoid of carbonates, such as the Arctic. To date, more than 70 lacustrine δ18OBSi records have been published. These case studies have been complemented with additional efforts addressing climatic and hydrological backgrounds, laboratory techniques and possible species-dependent fractionation as well as deposition and dissolution effects.
Here, we present the first comprehensive review and global compilation of lacustrine δ18OBSi records, with explicit regard to their individual lake basin parameters. With this work, we aim at contributing to bridging the gap between modelling and isotope geochemistry approaches regarding terrestrial archives in paleoclimatology. Departing from hitherto prevalent case studies, we assess what we can learn from lacustrine δ18OBSi records globally, considering lake basin characteristics, spatial and temporal coverage as well as hydrological background information. This improves both the usability of δ18OBSi for proxy-model comparison and our understanding of the general constraints for interpreting lacustrine δ18OBSi records.
How to cite: Meister, P. and the Project team: "Lacustrine oxygen isotope records from biogenic silica (δ18OBSi) – a global compilation and review": Lacustrine oxygen isotope records from biogenic silica (δ18OBSi) – a global compilation and review, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12748, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12748, 2021.
Oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes (δ18O and δD) of lake water are sensitive to long-term changes in environmental conditions, including relative humidity, temperature and the evaporation/outflow ratio of the lake. Lacustrine gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) forms in equilibrium with its parent fluid, so the isotopic composition of its structurally bonded hydration water (GHW) can reflect the δ18O and δD of lake water at the time of mineral formation, with insignificant effects of temperature and salinity on the water-GHW isotope fractionation factors. Using the stable isotope content of gypsum-rich sediment cores as a paleoclimatic proxy, the environmental conditions prevailing in the lake setting at the time of gypsum crystallization can be investigated.
Here we apply this method to reconstruct the δ18O and δD of paleo-water in La Ballestera Playa-lake (Seville, southern Spain) throughout the Holocene, from 11.2 cal kyr BP to the present. Gypsum crystallization took place punctually at 11.2 and 4.4 cal kyr BP, and did continuously from 2.9 cal kyr BP to the present. The δ18O and δD showed the lowest values at ~11.2 cal kyr BP (2.3‰ and -1.1‰, respectively) and were significantly higher at ~4.4 cal kyr BP (8.8‰ and 29.2‰, respectively). Likewise, relatively higher values (8.2‰ and 29.8‰, respectively) were recorded at ~2.9 cal kyr BP. Thereafter, the isotopic ratios increased until the present (11.4‰ and 37.1‰, respectively), suggesting increasing aridity and/or hydrological closeness of the lake. A relative minimum in δ18O and δD occurred at ~2.3 cal kyr BP, during the wetter stage of the Iberian Roman Humid Period, while a relative maximum at ~1.1 cal kyr BP was recorded during the Medieval Warm Period.
We use a steady-state Isotope Mass Balance to investigate the paleo-hydrological conditions in the lake setting at different stages of the Holocene. Our results suggest that at ~11.2 cal kyr BP La Ballestera Playa-lake was a flow-through lake closely connected to the aquifer with and evaporation/outflow ratio <0.5. At 4.4 cal kyr BP and from ~2.9 cal kyr BP until the present, the system behaved as a terminal lake (evaporation/outflow ratio close to 1), with less connection to the aquifer and the main water output occurred via evaporation. The studied system turned into a playa lake because of a regional water table lowering. This most likely resulted from increasing aridity in southern Iberia during the late Holocene, which has previously been suggested by other lake sediment records in this region.
This study was supported by the Junta del Andalucía PY18-871 to FG, the project CGL2017-85415-R of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional FEDER, the project B-RNM-144-UGR18, Proyectos I+D+i del Programa Operativo FEDER 2018 and the research groups RNM-189 y RNM-190 (Junta de Andalucía). Dr. Antonio García-Alix acknowledges the Ramón y Cajal fellowship, RYC-2015-18966. Fernando Gázquez acknowledges the postdoctoral “HIPATIA” program of University of Almería.
How to cite: Gazquez, F., García-Alix, A., Jiménez-Moreno, G., Jíménez-Espejo, F., and Rodríguez-Rodríguez, M.: Holocene lake water-aquifer interactions in La Ballestera Playa-lake (southern Spain) recorded by stable isotopes (δ18O and δD) of gypsum hydration water, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1396, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1396, 2021.
Hydrogen isotope ratios of leaf waxes are used to reconstruct past hydroclimate because they are correlated to meteoric/growth water hydrogen isotopes. The interpretation of these signatures from ancient sedimentary archives relies on a thorough understanding of the drivers of modern isotope variability. Studies in the high latitudes, regions that are particularly valuable in light of their vulnerability to rapid climate change, are scarce. We studied modern vegetation (22 plants) in two areas in the Northwestern Territories (Canada): Herschel Island and Peel Plateau, to understand the stable isotope variability found in plants of Arctic regions. Bulk biomass stable carbon isotope and radiocarbon composition have been measured as well as fatty acids (wax lipids coating the plant leaves) stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes. Furthermore, lake surface sediments and river bank sediments from the Mackenzie River Delta (surrounded by the same plants) have been similarly studied. Bulk carbon isotope composition of the plants show strong difference between plant type, i.e. herbs, shrubs, lichen and moss, as shown in previous studies. Whereas the commonly used average chain length (ACL) is not useful to differentiate the plants. In term of compound-specific isotope ratios, herbs are generally 2H-enriched in comparison to shrubs as shown in other regions of the world, and the C28 fatty acid present the most differences amongst plant type (from ~ -207‰ for herbs to ~ – 240‰ for shrubs). No major difference between the areas is noted indicating that the ~ 250 km (Herschel Island 69.5⁰N and Peel Plateau 67.3⁰N) have no impact on the hydrogen isotope composition of the fatty acids. As such we decided to compare the plant with the lake surface sediments (from the Mackenzie Delta, located between Herschel Island and the Peel Plateau). Short-chain fatty acids, sourced from organisms growing in the lake, from isolated lakes shows 2H-enriched isotopic values indicating the effect of increased evaporation in the lake during summer plant growth. Whereas long-chain fatty acids do not show any differences and are enriched compared to the shorter-chain (~ -260‰ for long-chain vs ~ -260‰ to - 280‰ for short-chain). In conclusion, differences between plant fatty acids seems to be best represented by the C28 fatty acid, indicating the potential to reconstruct past vegetation and hydrological conditions in the region using lacustrine archives.
How to cite: Lattaud, J., Haghipour, N., Eglinton, T., and Broeder, L.: Stable isotope (carbon, hydrogen) variation in plants and lake surface sediments from northwestern Canada, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8245, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8245, 2021.
BrGDGTs are used in a variety of paleoclimate archives to reconstruct changes in temperature and pH. However, the temperature dependency, currently determined on a global scale, can be confounded on smaller spatial scales. To determine the unique effect of temperature on the brGDGT distribution in northern Scandinavia, 37 soils have been collected along a Swedish and Norwegian altitude gradient (14 to 1200 m asl). At this site, we measured in-situ soil temperature (1 year), as well as soil chemical parameters (pH, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Mn, Al, total P, total N). Furthermore, we reconstructed the composition of the bacterial community in the same soils, using 16S rDNA, to allow direct comparison with the brGDGT lipid signatures.
Although we sampled over a limited range in pH values (3.3-5.4), large changes in brGDGT concentration are observed over the pH gradient. In low pH soils (>4.0), total brGDGT concentration (normalized per g soil) is increased, caused by an increase in the concentration of brGDGT Ia. This results in increased MBT’5ME values (0.53-0.7) in these soils. In high pH soils (pH>5.0) an increased concentration in 6-methyl brGDGTs is observed. These soils are characterized by a lower MBT’5ME values, driven by a decrease in the fractional abundance of brGDGT Ia. Along the altitudinal gradient, pH (and soil calcium) is the main driver of the MBT’5ME proxy (r= -0.60, p<0.01).
Along the Swedish and Norwegian altitudinal gradient, where a substantial change in temperature (-4.7 to 2.7 °C MAAT) was crossed, the MBT’5ME only shows a poor correlation with atmospheric MAAT values (r= 0.47, p<0.01). When comparing the MBT’5ME with in-situ measured soil temperatures (-2.5 to 4.3), that reflect the growth conditions of the soil bacteria better, the correlation is not improved (mean annual soil temperature: r= 0.32, p=0.05). A correlation with seasonal temperatures (Growing Degree Days [GDD]) results in a better dependency between the MBT’5ME and soil temperature (r= 0.44, p<0.01), which can reflect that brGDGT are generally produced in non-frozen soil conditions.
However, at the Swedish and Norwegian altitudinal gradient, there is a significant correlation observed between the temperature (GDD) and soil chemical parameters. In general, soil pH is increased at lower temperatures (r=-0.32, p=0.04, n=37). Considering all soil chemical parameters, the total concentration of K decreases closely with an increase in soil temperature (GDD: r= -0.63, p<0.01, n=37). The mechanism behind this is probably an interplay between local geology, and a temperature dependent extent of chemical and biological weathering. Because of this correlation, it is not clear whether MBT’5ME varies exclusively in response to soil chemistry, with an indirect response to temperature changes.
Although the environmental driver determining the brGDGT signal can not be determined unequivocally, the bacterial community composition is clearly determined by soil pH. In those high pH soils (pH> 4.9) where increased concentrations of 6-methyl brGDGTs are produced, several Acidobacterial OTUs (specifically Acidobacteria subgroup 6) are increased. This indicates that the mechanism behind the changed fractional abundances is a pH-modulated bacterial community shift.
How to cite: De Jonge, C., Halffman, R., Lembrechts, J., and Nijs, I.: Testing a thermometer of the past: abiotic and biotic drivers of the brGDGT-based temperature proxy along a subarctic elevation gradient., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4542, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4542, 2021.
Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) are an important tool for reconstructing terrestrial paleotemperatures from lake sediments. In addition to temperature, however, the distribution of these bacterial membrane lipids is influenced by other environmental variables such as pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen. Furthermore, though most brGDGT calibrations are performed against mean annual air temperature (MAT), there is considerable evidence that their distributions are more closely tied to warm-season conditions. Here, we present a new method for analyzing brGDGT data that deconvolves the influences of temperature, conductivity, and pH. Additionally, we measure brGDGT distributions in surface sediments from 43 high-latitude lakes with low MAT and high seasonality. In combination with a globally compiled lake sediment dataset, these samples show a clear warm-season bias in brGDGT-derived temperatures. They also show lake water conductivity to be the second-most important variable in controlling brGDGT distributions. We use the compiled dataset and new fractional abundances to generate brGDGT calibrations for warm-season air temperatures and lake water conductivity and pH for use in lake sediments globally.
How to cite: Raberg, J. H., Blumm, A., Harning, D. J., Crump, S. E., de Wet, G., Dildar, N., Kopf, S., Geirsdóttir, Á., Miller, G. H., and Sepúlveda, J.: Revised brGDGT fractional abundances and warm-season temperatures strengthen relationships between brGDGTs and environmental variables, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8362, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8362, 2021.
In the Caucasus Mountains, the role of human influences and climate changes on steppes expansion over the Holocene is still discussed because this region is poorly documented. This study investigates (1) modern pollen-vegetation relationships in Armenia and (2) changes in vegetation, human activity and climate in the Holocene record of Vanevan peat (south-eastern shore of Lake Sevan) located in Armenia. The last 9700 years are recorded in the Vanevan core. We used a multiproxy approach including XRF, Pollen, Non-Pollen Palynomorphs (NPPs) and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) to reconstruct changes in vegetation, human impact and climate. The combination of these proxies is innovative and aims to distinguish the impact of human activities and climate change on vegetation. Modern pollen assemblages from semi-desert/steppe regions of Armenia show an abundance of Chenopodiaceae while meadows steppes, subalpine and alpine meadows are dominated by Poaceae. The Holocene vegetation at Vanevan is characterized by steppes dominated by Poaceae, Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae. However, several arboreal taxa, such as Quercus, Betula, Carpinus betulus and Ulmus, are more developed on slopes between 8600 and 5100 cal BP. Regarding the human impact, the presence of agriculture is attested since 5200 cal BP, largely increases during the last 2000 years cal BP (high percentages of Cerealia-type pollen) and correlates with the occupation periods reported in archeological studies. Palaeoclimate changes at Vanevan are estimated from (1) water level changes (2) temperature reconstructions based on brGDGTs (3) climate reconstructions based on pollen (through a multi-method approach: Modern Analogue Technique, Weighted Averaging Partial Least Squares regression, Random Forest, and Boosted Regression Trees). Climate reconstructions based on pollen and brGDGTs are rare and the multi-method approach using pollen data is innovative in the region. The results of Vanevan give evidence of high temperatures from 7900 to 5100 cal BP and arid events at 6000, 5000-4500 and 4200 cal BP, in agreement with other regional records.
How to cite: Robles, M., Peyron, O., Brugiapaglia, E., Ménot, G., Dugerdil, L., Ollivier, V., Develle, A.-L., Tozalakyan, P., Meliksetian, K., Sahakyan, K., Sahakyan, L., Perello, B., Badalyan, R., Colombié, C., and Sébastien, J.: Holocene vegetation, climate and human impact in steppes around Lake Sevan (Armenia) based on a multiproxy approach: Pollen, NPPs and brGDGTs, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15206, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15206, 2021.
How to cite: Wang, T., Bell, B., Fletcher, W., Wogelius, R., and Zielhofer, C.: Quantifying past changes in Holocene ultraviolet-absorbing compounds (UACs) from Cedrus pollen in Lake Sidi Ali, Morocco, Africa based on fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10727, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10727, 2021.
The circum-Mediterranean region is characterized by high climatic diversity derived from its orographic heterogeneity and the influence of global marine and atmospheric circulation patterns. The region also has a long and dynamic history of human occupation dating back to ~ 8000 years BP. The complexity of this area is a challenge for reconstructing the dynamics of the vegetation through the Holocene. Rule-based approaches to reconstructing changing vegetation patterns through time are insufficient as they require the imposition of subjective boundaries between biomes and can be affected by known biases in pollen representation. We have developed and tested a new method that characterises biomes as a function of observed pollen assemblages based on a similarity index, conceptually related to the likelihood function, which takes account of within-biome variability in taxon abundances. We use 1181 modern pollen samples from the EMBSeCBIO database and assign these samples to biomes as represented in a map of potential natural vegetation that was developed using machine learning. The method was applied down-core to reconstruct past vegetation changes. Preliminary results show that this new methodology produces more accurate biome assignments under modern conditions (<80% accuracy) and more stable down-core reconstructions, apparently reducing the "flickering switch" problem found when using the traditional biomisation method for this purpose. Climate-induced vegetation changes are observable on a sub-regional scale in the Eastern Mediterranean through the Holocene. Most of the records show a change from humid to more arid biomes between 4000 and 3000 years BP. However, they are distinct subregional patterns in the expression and timing of wetter conditions during the Holocene. Mountain regions appear to show more muted changes during the Holocene, although there are biome shifts everywhere across the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.
How to cite: Cruz-Silva, E., Harrison, S. P., Marinova, E., and Prentice, I. C.: Vegetation dynamics of the eastern Mediterranean region during the Holocene, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6518, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6518, 2021.
East Siberia is an ideal area for investigating the relationships between modern pollen assemblages and vegetation under the extremely cold and dry climate conditions. These relationships are the basis of paleovegetation and paleoclimate reconstructions from fossil pollen records. Pollen productivity estimates (PPE) are required for reliable pollen-based quantitative vegetation reconstructions. Here, we present a new pollen dataset of 48 moss/soil and 24 lake surface sediment samples collected from Chukotka and Yakutia. Generally, tundra and taiga vegetation sites can be well distinguished in the surface pollen assemblages from East Siberia. Moss/soil and lake samples have mostly similar pollen assemblages but contents of some pollen taxa may vary significantly in different sample types. We classified drone images based on field survey to obtain high-resolute vegetation data. Pollen counts in moss/soil samples and vegetation data can? be used in the Extended R-Value (ERV) model to estimate the relevant source area of pollen (RSAP) and the PPEs of major plant taxa. The result of PPE calculation for most common taxa (Alnus, Betula, Cyperaceae, Ericaceae, Larix, Pinus and Salix) can be used to improve vegetation reconstructions.
How to cite: Geng, R., Andreev, A., Kruse, S., Zhao, Y., Herzschuh, U., Pestraykova, L., and Zakharov, E.: Modern pollen-vegetation-climate relationships and pollen productivity estimates for common East Siberian taxa, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12546, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12546, 2021.
Analyses of the regional controls representing climate, vegetation and human activities on modern burnt area in the Iberian Peninsula show that the vegetation properties that determine fuel availability are major influences on the occurrence of fire. This finding opens up the possibility of using pollen data to reconstruct past changes in fire regimes. We could then make use of the much greater abundance of pollen data compared to other sources of information on past fire regimes to constrain biomass-burning feedbacks to the carbon cycle and climate. We applied Tolerance-Weighted Averaging Partial Least-Squares (TWA-PLS) to derive quantitative relationships between pollen-taxon and charcoal abundances from 15 entities from the Iberian Peninsula, using core-top charcoal data and a generalized linear model of present-day fire probability to provide conversion factors between the relative scale of charcoal abundance and the absolute scale of fire. We show that pollen taxon abundance has good predictive power for fire (r2 = 0.56) and that the contribution of specific taxa to the prediction makes sense in terms of their ecological adaptations to fire. We apply the TWA-PLS quantitative relationship to predict changing fire regimes across the Iberian Peninsula through the Holocene. Results show that fire change synchronous with climate warming events.
How to cite: Shen, Y., Harrison, S., and Prentice, C.: Reconstructing Holocene vegetation-fire regimes in the Iberian Peninsula, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3848, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3848, 2021.
Forest fires are an important factor in the global carbon cycle and high latitude ecosystems. Eastern Siberian tundra, summergreen larch-dominated boreal forest on permafrost and evergreen boreal forest have characteristic fire regimes with varying fire intensities. Yet, it is unknown which role fire plays in long-term climate-vegetation-permafrost feedbacks and how high-latitude fire regimes and ecosystems will change in a warmer world. To learn from fire regime shifts during previous interglacials, prior to human presence, we use lake-sedimentary charcoal as proxy for high-intensity forest fires and monosaccharide anhydrides (i.e. levoglucosan, mannosan, galactosan: MA) as molecular proxies for low-temperature biomass burning, typical for surface fires in modern larch forest. However, MA pathways from source to sink and their stability in sediments are very poorly constrained. Recently, Dietze et al. (2020) found MA in up to 420 kyr old sediment of Lake El’gygytgyn (ICDP Site 5011-1), NE Siberia, suggesting that they are suitable proxies for fires in summergreen boreal forests. Surprisingly, the ratios of the MA isomers were exceptionally low compared to published emission ratios from modern combustions.
To understand what MA from Arctic lake sediments tell us, we have analyzed the MA and charcoal composition in modern lake surface sediments of Lake El’gygytgyn and three East Siberian lakes and we compare them to late glacial-to-interglacial El’gygytgyn records. The three Siberian lakes were chosen to represent spatial analogues to the El’gygytgyn conditions during MIS 5e and 11c. We discuss first results of the modern sediments in context of recent MODIS- and Landsat-based fire extents and biome-specific land cover data, a wind field modelling using climate data over eastern Siberia, and lake-catchment configurations from TDX-DEM analysis to assess potential fire proxy source areas and regional-to-local transport processes. Thereby, we provide insights into the meaning of sedimentary fire proxies, crucial for a sound reconstruction of long-term fire regime histories.
How to cite: Dietze, E., Mangelsdorf, K., Weise, J., Matthes, H., Lisovski, S., and Herzschuh, U.: The potential and limitations of long-term fire regime reconstructions in Eastern Siberia based on sedimentary charcoal and low-temperature fire markers , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8974, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8974, 2021.
We have developed and applied new analytical methodologies to study the drivers of the spatial distribution of pyrogenic biomarkers throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The goal of the study is to develop a multiproxy pyrogenic biomarker approach to quantitatively reconstruct the paleo-occurrence and extension of biomass wildfires from sediments. For this purpose, we have compiled an extensive collection of lacustrine sediments throughout Spain. The sample suite is representative of a wide range of climates and ecosystems. We have quantified the abundance of different types of pyrogenic biomarkers such as BPCAs (benzene polycarboxylic acids derived from the chemical oxydation of pyrogenic carbon), MAS (monosaccharide anhydrides, namely levoglucosan) and PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons namely with 4 or more rings). The data obtained, as concentrations or ratios, has been mapped and compared to the documented occurrence and extension of wildfires in Spain over the last 5 decades. Specifically, we have calculated the burned area within different radius around the lake, and correlated them against the biomarker data.
The regional distribution of fires in Spain is the primary driver of the spatial distribution of pyrogenic biomarkers in lakes sediments. Thus, the sedimentary concentration of pyrogenic biomarkers, generally, correlates with the area of burned forest land within a radius of 10-20km. Work is still under way to decipher the meaning between the correlations of different types of pyrogenic biomarkers, and the relation between biomarker ratios and fire regimes and vegetation types. Our study shows that pyrogenic biomarkers in lakes can be used as paleoproxies to study regional fires, as opposed to those occurring at larger spatial scales. It remains to be seen, how our findings from Spanish lakes can be extrapolated to other continental regions. Nonetheless, our study validates their use to quantify the area of forest burned in the region surrounding the lake, in addition to the frequency of fires in the past.
How to cite: Raja, M., Rivas, P., Muñoa, G., Moreu, C., Penalva, N., Davtian, N., Villanueva, J., and Rosell-Melé, A.: The potential use of sedimentary pyrogenic biomarkers to quantitatively reconstruct wildfires occurrence and extension, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11080, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11080, 2021.
Spatial patterns of precipitation and aridity across Europe are most likely to vary in response to changing temperature. Our knowledge about such responses is, however, still limited as most geoscientific studies provide point data rather than cover wider areas. Such an approach would require reliable proxies, which can be determined in high spatial resolution along with detailed knowledge about how these reflect climate. Classically, we derive (paleo-) precipitation and -temperature for terrestrial areas from climofunctions, which base on magnetic susceptibility (χ) and its frequency dependence (χfd). These parameters reflect the quantity and modification state of magnetic minerals like magnetite, which are dependent on the combined influence of temperature and precipitation. Recently, also the maghemite contribution to the high-temperature dependent susceptibility (χtd) has been used to create climofunctions, which are mainly constrained to reconstruction of (palaeo-) precipitation. Yet, such relationships have mostly been reported from Asia.
In this study, we test if we can qualify and quantify (palaeo-) precipitation, temperature and aridity by room- and high-temperature rock magnetic and colorimetric data of recent topsoils in a narrow precipitation range between ~535 mm/a and 585 mm/a. The data are derived from geographically evenly distributed bulk-samples from the Backa Loess Plateau (Middle Danube Basin). Our results show that we can quantify precipitation by rock magnetic properties (χ, χfd, as well as χtd), but colorimetric methods are more challenging to interpret. While we can also reconstruct aridity, temperature is difficult to determine in a meaningful way.
In this contribution, we show the results of statistical analysis performed on a multivariate rock magnetic and colorimetric dataset, and their relation to geographical differences in prevailing climatic regimes of the Middle Danube Basin. While care needs to be taken not to overfit the data (due to more colorimetric variables than spatial data points), we regard our multivariate approach at least as relevant as trying to fit individual magnetic or colorimetric proxies to climate variables.
How to cite: Zeeden, C., Vinnepand, M., Ryzner, K., Rolf, C., Laag, C., Sardar Abadi, M., Radaković, M. G., Gavrilov, M. B., and Marković, S. B.: Relationships between meteorological data and soil properties: quantifying precipitation and aridity in the Middle Danube Basin through geophysical proxies, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10060, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10060, 2021.
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