Oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of Quaternary meteoric carbonates from western and southern Europe: Their role in palaoenvironmental reconstruction

I. Candy, K. Adamson, C. E. Gallant, E. Whitfield, R. Pope

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The relationship between environmental conditions and the delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of soil and groundwater carbonates in Europe is poorly understood. Consequently, the use of the isotopic composition of these carbonate palaeoclimatic indicators in European sedimentary sequences is restricted. In this study we examine the delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of soil and groundwater carbonates from western and southern Europe. In western Europe there is no relationship between carbonate delta O-18 values and carbonate delta C-13 values. The delta O-18 values of soil carbonate appears to be driven by temperature, whilst the delta C-13 value of soil and groundwater carbonate reflects the persistent dominance of C-3 vegetation in this region during the Quaternary. The delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of soil carbonates from Spain and Crete show a strong degree of co-variance suggesting that they are being controlled by the same environmental factor. This is suggested to be aridity. delta O-18 values are controlled by soil moisture evaporation whilst delta C-13 value is controlled by soil moisture degassing, vegetation abundance and possible C-3/C-4 vegetation inputs. The paper concludes by highlighting the fact that, although currently under-utilised, the delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of soil and groundwater carbonates have a huge potential for providing important palaeoenvironmental information from sites across Europe. (C) 2012 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
    Volume326-328
    Early online date31 Dec 2011
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

    Keywords

    • Quaternary carbonates
    • Europe
    • Oxygen and carbon isotopes
    • Temperature
    • Aridity
    • EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION
    • LAST GLACIAL PERIOD
    • MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE
    • SE SPAIN
    • LANDFORM CHRONOLOGIES
    • CALCRETE DEVELOPMENT
    • PALEOSOL CARBONATES
    • STABLE-ISOTOPES
    • ATMOSPHERIC CO2
    • FAN EVOLUTION

    Cite this