GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 72-14
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM


WORTHAM, Barbara1, MONTANEZ, Isabel1, SWART, Peter2, VONHOF, Hubert3 and TABOR, Clay4, (1)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, (2)Department of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, (3)Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Mainz, 80539, Germany, (4)Department of Geosciences, University of Connecticut, 354 Mansfield Rd Unit 1045, Storrs, CT 06269-1045

Stalagmite records of stable isotope (δ18Occ) variability from across the Southwestern United States change in-step with Northern Hemisphere temperature over the last deglaciation. The interpretations of δ18Occ, however, is complicated due to the multiple influences on δ18Occ. These influences include seasonality of precipitation, regional temperature change, and variability in precipitation source, among others. To isolate the influence of temperature in δ18Occ records, we must develop quantitative and independent records of temperature. Here, we use a multi-proxy approach in a previously studied stalagmite, ML-1, from the central Sierra Nevada. We employ high-resolution 3-dimensional neutron computed tomography and x-ray computed tomography to map fluid inclusion distribution in the stalagmite. Water-rich regions in ML-1 occur contemporaneously with the lowest values of δ18Occ. We also use ML-1 fluid inclusions to create a record of 45 stable isotope measurements from the stalagmite fluid inclusions. The stable isotope results from the fluid inclusions reveal periods of anomalous temperature, d-excess, and fractionation at 18.0, 15.0, and 13.2 ka. To better constrain these periods, we use the forward proxy system model, Karstolution, integrated with isotope enabled climate modeling outputs of the western U.S. (iCESM1.3). The output of the Karstolution model reveals periods of disagreement between the predicted stalagmite record of δ18Occ and the measured δ18Occ from stalagmite ML-1 at 18.0, 15.0, and 13.2 ka. We interpret these integrated results as being caused by evaporative conditions and disequilibrium fractionation at these periods. Two of the three periods occur during warm interstadials during the deglaciation, suggesting that warm temperatures in California led to dry conditions in the central Sierra Nevada. This finding is in agreement with records of hydroclimate from across the Southwestern United States. The novel approach of integrating x-ray and neutron computed tomography, stable isotope measurements of fluid inclusions, and forward proxy system modeling, helps us understand the complex processes that impact stalagmite records of δ18Occ in seasonal and arid climates.