Applications of stalagmite laminae to palaeoclimate reconstructions: comparison with dendrochronology/climatology

M Tan, Andrew Baker, D Genty, C Smith, J Esper, B Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)


Laminated stalagmites, observed in either ultra-violet or visible light or recognized via trace elements, are now widely recognized as a common deposition form. Annually laminated stalagmites should be expected in caves which have an overlying climate that has a strong seasonality, similar climate zones to where trees grow with distinct annual rings. Continuous laminated stalagmite chronologies (up to several thousand years) should be expected where some mixing of stored water occurs. Such stalagmites can be used to reconstruct climate, particularly through variations in lamina width. Such climate records would be relatively damped by mixing of 'event' water with 'stored' groundwater, constraining the amount of high-frequency climate signals contained in the stalagmite, but relatively long continuous lamina sequences permit the preservation of low frequency, centennial scale, climate signals. This contrasts with numerous tree ring climate records, which are frequently limited in preserving multi-centennial trends, due to the necessary removal of age related noise from relatively short tree segments. Laminated stalagmites and tree rings should therefore to some degree provide complementary climate information. Appropriate methods for compiling stalagmite layer chronologies and climatologies are presented. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2103-2117
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006


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