An 80 kyr-long continuous speleothem record from Dim Cave, SW Turkey with paleoclimatic implications for the Eastern Mediterranean

Unal-Imer E., Shulmeister J., Zhao J., Uysal I. T. , Feng Y., Nguyen A. D. , ...More

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.5, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/srep13560
  • Title of Journal : SCIENTIFIC REPORTS


Speleothem-based stable isotope records are valuable in sub-humid and semi-arid settings where many other terrestrial climate proxies are fragmentary. The Eastern Mediterranean is one such region. Here we present an 80-kyr-long precisely-dated (by U-series) and high-resolution oxygen (delta O-18) and carbon (delta C-13) records from Dim Cave (similar to 36 degrees N) in SW Turkey. The glacial-interglacial delta O-18 variations in the Dim Cave speleothem are best explained in terms of changes in the trajectories of winter westerly air masses. These are along a northerly (European) track (isotopically less depleted) during the early last glaciation but are gradually depressed southward closer to the modern westerly track along the North African coast (more depleted) after c.50 kyr and remain in the southern track through the Last Glacial Maximum. The southward displacement of the westerly track reflects growth of the Fennoscandian ice sheet and its impact on westerly wind fields. Changes in delta C-13 are interpreted as reflecting soil organic matter composition and/or thickness. delta C-13 values are significantly more negative in interglacials reflecting active carbonic acid production in the soil and less negative in glacial times reflecting carbonate rock values. Several Heinrich events are recorded in the Dim record indicating intensification of westerly flow across this part of the EM.