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