Variability in luminescent lamination and initial Th-230/Th-212 activity ratios in a late Holocene stalagmite from northern Norway

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Luminescent lamination in a stalagmite from northern Norway is used to construct a similar to 2780-year long, floating record of annual growth rate. Thermal ionisation mass-spectrometric (TIMS) U-Th ages (n=12) were determined along the growth axis and three subsample locations and ages (corrected and uncorrected for initial Th-230/Th-232-activity) were selected as anchor points for the floating chronology. On the basis of these anchor points, termination of growth occurred between AD 1729 and AD 1826. The annual banding records are used to evaluate the initial Th-230/Th-232 activity ratio adopted for correction of the U-Th ages. To achieve a reasonable fit between U-Th ages and estimates predicted by the anchored annual band age models, mean initial Th-230/Th-232 activity ratios of between 0.44 and 1.47 must be invoked. However, there remains a reasonable degree of scatter about the expected linear relationship between annual bands and U-Th chronology for individual subsamples indicating that the use of a single correction factor for Holocene stalagmites should be applied with caution. Stalagmite growth rate fluctuates on annual to centennial scale. The growth termination of the stalagmite presented here could have been a result of environmental change associated with the Little Ice Age, or, possibly local percolation pathway changes after an M-s similar to 6 earthquake in the region in AD 1819. Stable-isotope data from the same axis of growth show a pattern similar to the large-scale growth rate variations, and these combined proxy records are interpreted as showing gradual cooling and/or shortening of the vegetation growth season for the last 3000 years. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • U-Th, TIMS, Annual laminae, Stalagmite, Late Holocene, Norway, Luminescence, Initial Th-230