A new insight of the MIS 3 Dansgaard-Oeschger climate oscillations in western Europe from the study of a Belgium isotopically equilibrated speleothem

Marion Peral, Marta Marchegiano, Sophie Verheyden, Steven Goderis, Tom Van Helden, Frank Vanhaecke, Thibaut Van Acker, Xue Jia, Hai Cheng, Jens Fiebig, Tiffanie Fourcade, Christophe Snoeck, Philippe Claeys

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Abstract

The Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 records abrupt transitions from cold stadial to temperate interstadial climate conditions, termed Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events. Reconstructing these rapid climate changes is crucial for documenting the prevailing climatic conditions in Europe during the extinction of the Neanderthals. However, only few continental records are available to define the continental climatic responses to DO changes. Here, the elemental and stable isotope compositions of a well-dated speleothem in Belgium covering the MIS 3 are documented. This speleothem precipitated under equilibrium conditions based on Δ48 thermometry, allowing the use of Δ47 thermometry with confidence. Moreover, the precision and accuracy of our clumped-isotope analyses are demonstrated through the long-term monitoring of international Δ47 standards. The acquired unique thermometry paleoclimatic dataset enables the reconstruction of temperature based on the hydrological information (oxygen-18 of drip water; δ18Ow) and sheds new light on the DO climate variations. A temperature differential of ∼7 °C is associated with alternating temperate warm and wet Interstadials to cold and dry stadials. The DO-12 is the most pronounced MIS 3 interstadial in the record and appears to be marked by a delay of 1000 years between climate enhancement (warmer temperature) and water availability (moisture increase). By combining our speleothem record with other continental and marine archive, the spatial variability of DO changes in Europe during the MIS 3 is defined. A gradual climate deterioration with colder and drier conditions, associated with the Heinrich 4 event, progressed southwards through Europe. This spatial climatic degradation, during the last phase of Neanderthal populations occupation in Europe, provides better environmental constraints for human mobility models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108564
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume329
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ari Lannoy, guide at the Han-sur-Lesse cave for monitoring the cave temperatures. We also thank David Verstraeten for his help in the lab. And we thank the 2 anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, allowing us to significantly improve the manuscript. MP thanks VUB (OZR opvangmandaat’ number 3772 ), IODP-France and Research Foundation – Flanders ( FWO ) (senior postdoctoral grant ( 208064 / 1255923N LV 4508) for their supports. TVA thanks FWO for his junior postdoctoral fellowship grant ( FWO.3E0.2022.0048.01 ) and FV acknowledges the FWO-Vlaanderen for financial support under the form of research project G017217N . PhC and SG thank the VUB Strategic Program, and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) Hercules Program for the acquisition of the IRMS and μXRF instruments used in this study. TF thanks the support of University of Bordeaux's IdEX " Investments for the Future” program/GPR “Human Past” (postdoctoral grant).

Funding Information:
These comparisons also highlight differences in vegetation and moisture availability in Europe. The δ13C values of the I–B2 speleothem are generally higher than those from other southern European speleothems and the Bunker cave in Germany (Weber et al., 2018; latitudinal Northward to I–B2), indicating more restricted vegetational activity and soil development in Belgium. Likewise, [Mg] remains low relative to those of the German Bu2 speleothem that shows values ranging between 25 and 1500 μg/g (Weber et al., 2018). The Bunker cave [Mg] suggest an increase of water availability and precipitation enhancement from 52 to 51 ka BP, followed, from 47 to 43 ka BP, by less precipitation (Fig. 8; Weber et al., 2018), as also supported by the pollen data from Eifel Lake, with a transition from thermophilous trees to boreal forests (Sirocko et al., 2016). The Mg concentration in the I–B2 interval advocates for relatively more moisture in Belgium, compared to Germany during the entire MIS 3. This wetter condition likely reflects the more marine climate in Belgium. However, the aluminum (Al) content shows an increase throughout the MIS 3 in Belgium (Fig. 8), which may suggest an enhancement of detrital input into the speleothem (Fairchild and Treble, 2009) triggered by the accumulation of fine particles in drier environments. The I–B2 data likely confirm a drier north European climate through the MIS 3.We thank Ari Lannoy, guide at the Han-sur-Lesse cave for monitoring the cave temperatures. We also thank David Verstraeten for his help in the lab. And we thank the 2 anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, allowing us to significantly improve the manuscript. MP thanks VUB (OZR opvangmandaat’ number 3772), IODP-France and Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) (senior postdoctoral grant (208064/1255923N LV 4508) for their supports. TVA thanks FWO for his junior postdoctoral fellowship grant (FWO.3E0.2022.0048.01) and FV acknowledges the FWO-Vlaanderen for financial support under the form of research project G017217N. PhC and SG thank the VUB Strategic Program, and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) Hercules Program for the acquisition of the IRMS and μXRF instruments used in this study. TF thanks the support of University of Bordeaux's IdEX "Investments for the Future” program/GPR “Human Past” (postdoctoral grant).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

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