16,000 Years of Tropical Eastern Ocean Climate Variability Recorded in a Speleothem From Sumatra, Indonesia
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Holocene climate variability in the Indo-Pacific has largely been inferred from sediment cores primarily from the central and eastern Warm Pool region. A limited number of speleothem oxygen-isotope records have provided decadally-resolved time-series of past rainfall variability over the central Indo-Pacific Warm Pool region, however no records currently exist for the Indian Ocean sector of the IPWP. Here we present the first continuous, high-resolution (~15year) speleothem record from the eastern tropical Indian Ocean, collected from central western Sumatra, Indonesia.
Petrographic and geochemical analysis reveals that the sample is primarily composed of aragonite but is punctuated by intervals of primary calcite growth. In addition to Raman spectroscopy, trace element analysis by laser ablation ICP-MS reveals strongly antiphased behaviour between magnesium and strontium, attributed to the strong preference of those elements for the calcite and aragonite lattices, respectively. This relationship is utilized to develop a quantitative correction for the stable isotope fractionation offset between the two calcium carbonate polymorphs identified in the speleothem.
The corrected oxygen isotope record shows a rapid transition from drier conditions during the Younger Dryas (YD) into a wetter Holocene, similar in timing and pattern to that recorded in Dongge Cave, China. This is strikingly different from other IPWP speleothem records, which show no YD or a wetter YD, suggesting that different mechanisms may be controlling rainfall amount in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. These disparate responses are further explored through proxy-model comparison.