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Stalagmite lamina doublets: A 1000 year proxy record of severe winters in northwest Scotland?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Baker, Dr John Proctor


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Stalagmites can contain annual luminescence laminae, and some samples provide long continuous chronologies from which climatic information can be extracted. One such site is Uamh an Tartair in Assynt, northwest Scotland, where most stalagmites contain continuous laminae sets for the last two to three millennia. At this site, the normal mode of deposition is for one luminescent lamina to be deposited in autumn, derived from luminescent organic matter that is flushed onto the sample from the overlying peat. However, in the stalagmite investigated here, 43 lamina doublets occur, where two laminae appear to be preserved in a winter. We argue, both from the timing of these events within the 'Little Ice Age', as well as from analogous situations in alpine streams, that the doublets occur due to the presence of a second, spring melt flush of organic matter. The interpretation of stalagmite double laminae, therefore, has considerable potential as a palaeoclimate proxy, and at our study site, we suggest one of severe winters over the last millennium. Copyright © 2002 Royal Meteorological Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baker A, Proctor CJ, Barnes WL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Climatology

Year: 2002

Volume: 22

Issue: 11

Pages: 1339-1345

ISSN (print): 0899-8418

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0088

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/joc.800


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