Geologica Belgica

1374-8505 2034-1954

 

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Sophie VERHEYDEN, Jean-Marc BAELE, Eddy KEPPENS, Dominique GENTY, Olivier CATTANI, Hai CHENG, Edwards LAWRENCE, Hucai ZHANG, Mark VAN STRIJDONCK & Yves QUINIF

THE PROSERPINE STALAGMITE (HAN-SUR-LESSE CAVE, BELGIUM): PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL INTERPRETATION OF THE LAST 1000 YEARS AS RECORDED IN A LAYERED SPELEOTHEM

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Abstract

A two meters long core from the big “Proserpine” stalagmite of the Han-sur-Lesse cave, deposited from 1800 (±75) U/Th years BP to recent, displays seasonal layering with two layers deposited during one year. Growth rates of up to 2.1 mm per year are observed. Similar changes are observed in the speleothem fabric, the δ18O and δ13C isotopic compositions and the growth rate along the longitudinal axis, suggesting common climatic and/or environmental controls. A first multi proxy approach is attempted, in order to interpret the constructed time-series in terms of changes in climate and environment. We interpreted the changes in proxy data from this speleothems mainly as changes in water recharge or precipitation minus evapo-transpiration. The stalagmite recorded a generally wet Little Ice Age period with two drier and/or colder decennia around 1600 and 1710. The stalagmite also registered the occurrence of early visitors in the cave from 1700 a AD with traces of fires made on top of the stalagmite and the incorporation of straw from torches in the stalagmite. During the upper 170 years an increasing number of visitors are responsible for the incorporation of soot in the calcite.

Keywords : speleothems, paleoclimate, multi-proxy, archaeology, Little Ice Age

To cite this article

Sophie VERHEYDEN, Jean-Marc BAELE, Eddy KEPPENS, Dominique GENTY, Olivier CATTANI, Hai CHENG, Edwards LAWRENCE, Hucai ZHANG, Mark VAN STRIJDONCK & Yves QUINIF, «THE PROSERPINE STALAGMITE (HAN-SUR-LESSE CAVE, BELGIUM): PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL INTERPRETATION OF THE LAST 1000 YEARS AS RECORDED IN A LAYERED SPELEOTHEM», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], number 3-4 - Han-sur-Lesse Symposium - nov. 2004, volume 9 (2006), 245-256 URL : https://popups.uliege.be:443/1374-8505/index.php?id=1236.

About: Sophie VERHEYDEN

Faculté Polytechnique de Mons, Service de Géologie Fondamentale et Appliquée. Rue de Houdain, 9, 7000 Mons, Belgium; and Scientific Research Worker, National Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium. Present address: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Av. F. Roosevelt, 50, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium. E-mail: sophie.verheyden@ulb.ac.be

About: Jean-Marc BAELE

Faculté Polytechnique de Mons, Service de Géologie Fondamentale et Appliquée. Rue de Houdain, 9, 7000 Mons, Belgium.

About: Eddy KEPPENS

GEOL, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium.

About: Dominique GENTY

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), l’Orme des Merisiers CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

About: Olivier CATTANI

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), l’Orme des Merisiers CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

About: Hai CHENG

Minnesota University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, 310 Pillsbury Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, USA 3.

About: Edwards LAWRENCE

Minnesota University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, 310 Pillsbury Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, USA 3.

About: Hucai ZHANG

Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008,China

About: Mark VAN STRIJDONCK

Koninklijk Instituut voor Kunstpatrimonium, Jubelpark 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

About: Yves QUINIF

Faculté Polytechnique de Mons, Service de Géologie Fondamentale et Appliquée. Rue de Houdain, 9, 7000 Mons, Belgium.