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The Eastern Mediterranean paleoclimate as a reflection of regional events: Soreq cave, Israel

Bar-Matthews, Miryam and Ayalon, Avner and Kaufman, Aaron and Wasserburg, Gerald J. (1999) The Eastern Mediterranean paleoclimate as a reflection of regional events: Soreq cave, Israel. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 166 (1-2). pp. 85-95. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(98)00275-1.

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The climate of the Eastern Mediterranean region of the last 60 ky was determined by a high resolution study of the oxygen and carbon isotopic composition (1500 measurement pairs) of speleothems from the Soreq cave, Israel, with chronology provided by 53 precise ^(230)Th–^(234)U (TIMS) ages. The high precision of the speleothem TIMS ages permits us to determine the timing of regional climatic events in the Eastern Mediterranean region and to see if they correlate with global events. During the period from 60 to 17 ky, the δ^(18)O and δ^(13)C values were generally 2–2.5‰ higher than during the period from 17 ky to present. This is consistent with the climatic transition from glacial to interglacial. Within the 60 to 17 ky period, the Soreq cave stable isotope profile includes four cold peaks (at 46, 35, 25 and 19 ky) and 2 warm peaks (at 54 and 36 ky). In addition, the period <17 ky has two more cold peaks at 16.5 and from 13.2 to 11.4 ky. The ages of four of the six cold peaks correlate well with the ages of three Heinrich events (H1, H2, H5) and with the age of the Younger Dryas. However, the other two Heinrich events are not reflected in the Soreq cave record. Several other isotope peaks which appear during the last 7 ky are contemporaneous with regional climatic events in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to the drop in δ^(18)O and δ^(13)C observed between the last glacial and the Holocene, sharp simultaneous drops in (^(234)U/^(238)U)_0 ratios, Sr concentrations and in ^(87)Sr/^(86)Sr are also observed, suggesting that the latter are climate related. These variations are interpreted in terms of major changes in the temperature, the mean annual rainfall and its isotopic composition, the isotopic composition of the Mediterranean vapor source, the soil moisture conditions, and in the mixing proportions of sources with different ^(87)Sr/^(86)Sr ratios (sea spray, dust particles and dolomitic host rock).

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Wasserburg, Gerald J.0000-0002-7957-8029
Additional Information:© 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. Received 4 June 1998; accepted 9 December 1998. This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation founded by The Academy of Sciences and Humanities. We are greatly indebted to Dr. Bassam Ghaleb of the Université du Québec à Montréal for about half of the TIMS ages and to Prof. Ross Stevenson of the same institution for the Sr isotope analyses. We thank the editor M. Kastner, T. Atkinson and the two anonymous reviewers for formal reviews that improved this manuscript. G.J. Wasserburg was supported by a grant from US Department of Energy, DE-FG03,13ER13851. Division Contribution 8511(991). [MK]
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Israeli Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG03-13ER13851
Subject Keywords: Eastern Mediterranean; speleothems; paleoclimate; O, C, Sr and U isotopes
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8511
Lunatic Asylum Lab991
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131118-142849164
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Official Citation:Miryam Bar-Matthews, Avner Ayalon, Aaron Kaufman, Gerald J Wasserburg, The Eastern Mediterranean paleoclimate as a reflection of regional events: Soreq cave, Israel, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 166, Issues 1–2, 28 February 1999, Pages 85-95, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42535
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Nov 2013 23:04
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:24

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