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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 12
Clim. Past, 11, 1785–1799, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-1785-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 11, 1785–1799, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-1785-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 21 Dec 2015

Research article | 21 Dec 2015

Reconstruction of MIS 5 climate in the central Levant using a stalagmite from Kanaan Cave, Lebanon

C. Nehme1,2, S. Verheyden1,2, S. R. Noble3, A. R. Farrant4, D. Sahy4, J. Hellstrom5, J. J. Delannoy6, and P. Claeys2 C. Nehme et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and History of Life, Royal Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Analytical, Environmental & Geo-Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 4British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 5Geochemistry Laboratory, Earth Science Department, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  • 6Laboratoire EDYTEM UMR5204 CNRS, Université de Savoie, Bourget-du-Lac, France

Abstract. Lying at the transition between the temperate Mediterranean domain and subtropical deserts, the Levant is a key area to study the palaeoclimatic response over glacial–interglacial cycles. This paper presents a precisely dated last interglacial (MIS 5) stalagmite (129–84 ka) from the Kanaan Cave, Lebanon. Variations in growth rate and isotopic records indicate a warm humid phase at the onset of the last interglacial at ~ 129 ka that lasted until ~ 125 ka. A gradual shift in speleothem isotopic composition (125–122 ka) is driven mainly by the δ18O source effect of the eastern Mediterranean surface waters during sapropel 5 (S5). The onset of glacial inception began after ~ 122 ka, interrupted by a short wet pulse during the sapropel 4 (S4) event. Low growth rates and enriched oxygen and carbon values until ~ 84 ka indicate a transition to drier conditions during Northern Hemisphere glaciation.

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The Levant is a key area to study palaeoclimatic responses over G-IG cycles. A precisely dated MIS 5 stalagmite (129–84ka) from Kanaan Cave, Lebanon, with growth rate and isotopic records variations indicate a warm humid phase at the last interglacial (~129-125ka). A shift in δ18O values (125-122ka) is driven by the source effect of the eastern Med. during sapropel 5 (S5). Low growth rates and high δ18O-δ13C values (~122-84ka) mark the onset of glacial inception and transition to drier phase.
The Levant is a key area to study palaeoclimatic responses over G-IG cycles. A precisely dated...
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