Uranium and Thorium in stalagmite M1-5 from Moomi Cave, Socotra Island


In this study, the dead carbon fraction (DCF) variations in stalagmite M1-5 from Socotra Island in the western Arabian Sea were investigated through a new set of high-precision U-series and radiocarbon (14C) dates. The data reveal an extreme case of very high and also climate dependent DCF values. For M1-5 an average DCF of 56.2 ± 3.4 % is observed between 27 and 18 kyr BP. Such high DCF values indicate a high influence of aged soil organic matter (SOM) and nearly completely closed system carbonate dissolution conditions. Towards the end of the last glacial period decreasing Mg/Ca ratios suggest an increase in precipitation which caused a marked change in the soil carbon cycling as indicated by sharply decreasing DCF. This is in contrast to the relation of soil infiltration and reservoir age observed in stalagmites from temperate zones. For Socotra Island, which is influenced by the East African-Indian monsoon, we propose that more humid conditions and enhanced net-infiltration after the LGM led to denser vegetation and thus lowered the DCF by increased 14CO2 input into the soil zone. The onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) is represented in the record by the end of DCF decrease with a sudden change to much higher and extremely variable reservoir ages. Our study highlights the dramatic variability of soil carbon cycling processes and vegetation feedback on Socotra Island manifested in stalagmite reservoir ages on both long-term trends and sub-centennial timescales, thus providing evidence for climate influence on stalagmite radiocarbon. This is of particular importance for studies focussing on 14C calibration and atmospheric reconstruction through stalagmites which relies on largely climate independent soil carbon cycling above the cave.

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.906002
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.906003
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-409-2020
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.906002
Creator Therre, Steffen ; Fohlmeister, Jens ; Fleitmann, Dominik ; Matter, Albert; Burns, Stephen J ; Arps, Jennifer; Schröder-Ritzrau, Andrea ; Friedrich, Ronny; Frank, Norbert
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2019
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 740 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (54.317 LON, 12.544 LAT); Socotra Island, Arabian Sea