The University of Arizona
Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Late Holocene climatic change in the Balkans; speleothem isotopic data from Serbia.

Aleksander Kacanski, Israel Carmi, Aldo Shemesh, Joel Kronfeld, Ruth Yam, Akiva Flexer


A detailed profile of the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen was obtained from a speleothem (stalagmite) from the Ceremosjna Cave in eastern Serbia. The stalagmite is a low magnesian calcite that did not show any evidence of diagenetic alteration. It was precipitated under isotopic equilibrium conditions from dripping water. The age and rate of deposition was derived from six internally consistent radiocarbon dates. The initial (super 14) C activity was determined to be approximately 80 pMC. The stalagmite appears to preserve a continuous record of calcite deposition from approximately 2300 BP until the present. Oxygen isotopic data, based upon 100 samples, are used to derive the first paleotemperature record for Serbia. A regression analysis of the all the data indicates that over the period of time that the speleothem was deposited there was a general trend of lowering of the average temperature. Superimposed upon this are significant long-term temperature fluctuations. These can be divided into four broader climatic groupings. Going from the oldest times to the present, there are two warm periods separated by a period when the temperatures fell below the temperature trend line. However, the absolute temperatures were generally above those of the more recent period that is generally characterized by the coolest climatic conditions.


Ceremosjna Cave;stalagmites;Serbia;O 18 O 16;diagenesis;climate change;cave environment;oxygen;terrestrial environment;solution features;speleothems;calcite;Yugoslavia;Southern Europe;isotope ratios;Holocene;upper Holocene;correlation;paleoclimatology;Europe;Cenozoic;Quaternary;C 14;carbon;dates;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;C 13 C 12;stable isotopes;absolute age;geochemistry;carbonates

Full Text: