High-resolution reconstruction of 8.2-ka BP event documented in Père Noël cave, southern Belgium

M. Allan, Nathalie Fagel, H. J. L. van der Lubbe, HUbert B. Vonhof, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards, S. Verheyden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


A distinct shift in δ18O, δ13C and trace element contents of the Père Noël (PN) stalagmite from southern Belgium revealed an abrupt climatic anomaly at 8.13 ± 0.03 ka BP (before present = before 1950 AD). This anomaly is characterized by a maximum drop in the δ18O (−1.4‰ compared the mean) between 8.13 and 8.10 ka BP (±0.03). This drop of δ18O coincides with a decrease in δ13C and trace element (Sr, Ba and Mg) concentrations suggesting drier conditions. Our precise chronology provides the timing of the outburst of proglacial lakes Agassiz and Ojibway that caused the δ18O, δ13C and trace elemental anomalies at 8.13–8.10 ± 0.03 ka BP, which corresponds to the 8.2-ka BP event. The PN stalagmite bears δ18O values in fluid inclusions that covary with the δ18O values in calcite, suggesting that the speleothem calcite δ18O primarily reflects variations in the rainfall δ18O. Comparison of the PN record with different marine and terrestrial archives during the 8.2-ka BP event shows a good agreement in timing and duration, suggesting that the PN speleothem can be regarded as a valuable proxy to better understand the 8.2-ka BP event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-852
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number7
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • 8.2-ka BP event
  • North-West Europe
  • speleothem
  • stable isotopes
  • trace elements

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