EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SISAL speleothem database updates - link to modern monitoring data, additional proxies and increased accessibility

Nikita Kaushal1, Franziska A. Lechleitner2, Peter Tanos3, Istvan Gabor Hatvani3, Zoltan Kern3, Micah Wilhelm4, Yuval Burstyn5, and Andy Baker6
Nikita Kaushal et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, ELKH, Budapest, Hungary
  • 4Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Switzerland
  • 5Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • 6School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Speleothem archives (cave carbonates) are widely distributed in terrestrial regions, and provide highly resolved records of past changes in climate and vegetation encoded in the oxygen and carbon isotope proxies. The SISALv2 database, created by the PAGES-SISAL Phase 1 Working Group, provided 700 speleothem records from 293 cave sites, 500 of which have standardized chronologies. The database provides access to records that were hitherto unavailable in the original publications and/or repositories, and has enabled regional-to-global scale analysis of climatic patterns using a variety of approaches such as data-model comparisons. 

The PAGES-SISAL Phase 2 Working Group is a continuation of the previous efforts to index speleothem datasets, focusing on the following objectives: (i) exploring ways to synthesise modern cave monitoring data to provide robust modern baselines and improve proxy interpretations, (ii) adding trace element proxies of Mg, Sr, Ba, U, and Sr isotopes to the SISAL database to increase our understanding of regional climatic variability, (iii) a database-update to incorporate ~100 identified speleothem datasets that are currently not in the database, (iv) providing a javascript web app with a user-friendly GUI to increase SISAL data accessibility.

Here, we present preliminary information on available cave monitoring metadata synthesized from the Cave Monitoring Database (product of a Cave Monitoring workshop in Innsbruck, Austria) and published speleothem trace element records, highlighting regions where overlapping stable isotope, trace element and monitoring datasets are available, and identifying gaps. We show the proposed database structures for cave monitoring and speleothem trace element data, linking them to the speleothem entities in the existing SISAL database with persistent identifiers, and introduce the Beta version of the SISAL GUI. We briefly present a synopsis of the SISAL-community level discussions on best practices for reporting trace element data, and reducing data measured with high resolution laser ablation methods. 

We welcome feedback on PAGES-SISAL Phase 2 activities listed above, and encourage participation and collaboration from interested researchers in different stages of their academic career and working in different geographical regions and allied disciplines.

How to cite: Kaushal, N., Lechleitner, F. A., Tanos, P., Hatvani, I. G., Kern, Z., Wilhelm, M., Burstyn, Y., and Baker, A.: SISAL speleothem database updates - link to modern monitoring data, additional proxies and increased accessibility, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1576,, 2022.